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WAVE 3 guest editorial: Kentucky’s death penalty is ‘too broken to use’

In the wake of last week’s American Bar Association’s damning assessment of Kentucky’s death penalty, KCADP’s director of outreach, education, and advocacy Don Vish delivered this guest editorial on Louisville’s WAVE 3:

A draft of his comments:

We thought it was fixed the last time for the last time, but apparently not. Kentucky’s death penalty machinery is still too broken to use according to a group of distinguished Kentucky experts.

In a 520-page report that took two years to compile, the Kentucky assessment team concluded the state’s death penalty system can’t guarantee either accuracy or fairness and “falls short in the effort to afford … fair and accurate procedures and minimize the risk of executing the innocent.”

So the legislature will be asked to fix it, to tweak and tune the mechanics of death one more last time.

But who’s going to fix the system retroactively for the three people who were executed under it or the thirty-three men and one woman now awaiting their lethal injection?

Kentucky’s death penalty is too broken to fix. It needs to be abolished.

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