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Karu Gene White’s 31st year on death row highlights just how broken Kentucky’s death penalty is

Karu Gene White has been on Kentucky's death row for more than 31 years.

Karu Gene White has been on Kentucky's death row for more than 31 years.

R.G Dunlop’s article in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal provides yet more evidence about just how broken Kentucky’s death penalty system is:

This is what passed for progress during 2010 in the case of Karu Gene White, who is about to conclude his 31st year on Kentucky’s death row:

First, Special Circuit Judge Gary Payne forgot about the case for the second time in five months, acknowledging to a reporter that he lost track of it, and had failed to rule on a pending issue.

Finally last April, his memory jogged again, Payne made his decision, which reaffirmed a prior one by him authorizing a mental retardation evaluation of White at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange.

But that resolved nothing. Attorneys for White and the state Attorney General’s office merely resumed their legal jousting over who should examine White to address his long-pending claim that he is mentally retarded and thus ineligible for execution…

Even after they are decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court, there will be no end in sight to White’s case, because he will then take his retardation claim back to U.S. District Court. The issue has been held in abeyance there since January 2004, while White pursued remedies in the state courts…

So far, White has outlived the attorney who prosecuted him, the judge who presided over his trial and the Supreme Court justice who wrote the opinion upholding his conviction and who referred to the “barbaric … bestial manner in which the victims were murdered.”

Meanwhile, the sole surviving child of two of White’s three victims is in failing health.

Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Department of Corrections

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9 Responses

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  1. jason says

    this is my cousin. how do you think our family has been dealing with this.

  2. lori field says

    he needs to die !!!!!! why would you even own him as a cousin !!!!

  3. lori field says

    hope he rots in hell for the murders of old people!!!!! live long in hell called prison lol

  4. lori field says

    by the way it was my husbands family the he never got to grow up with because of your so called cousin. hope your family is haunted by this as the loved ones of the ones he killed had to deal with it

  5. Kerri says

    It is not the family’s fault. They are victims to.

  6. LORI FIELD says

    they shouldnt have raised a murder !!!!!!!

  7. LORI FIELD says

    when is justice ever gonna be served !!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Rene says

    Kentuckys death penalty is not broken. The law is the law. No one has to like that, but if he is actually mentally retarded it’s better for the state to findout now than break the law (Atkins vs Virginia). That would make more people question the creditability of our state, laws, and the justice system. I agree it’s jot fair that everyone on both sides, victims families and his own have to deal with this issue. And to Lori Field, his family didn’t raise him to be a murder he solely made the choice to do so. They did not do the crime so don’t blame them. Even more so if he is sick! Justice is in the process and I know it seems and feels like it never will end, but the day will come. I’m sure the victims are lookin down on their families that hold so much hatred and are wondering why they can’t just remember them, and not dwell on the unpleasant crime. It is important for closure, but hating and staying mad will get you nowhere but misery lane and that’s what I’m sure the victims don’t want you to feel that way.

  9. LORI FIELD says

    I DONT HATE HIM I JUST WANT HIM TO PAY FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE. IF THEY DIDNT RAISE A MURDER THEN WHY IS HIS BROTHER LOCKED UP FOR RAPE ? THE FAMILY MUST HAVE BEEN DISFUNCTIONAL TO START WITH. YES HE IS A SICK , A DRUG ADDICT, MURDER!!!



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