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Kentucky judiciary committee to hear death penalty discussion

PADUCAH, Ky. – Representatives of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will address the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary during its August 1, 2014, meeting in Paducah. This meeting is open to the public.

The panel is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) in the Emerging Technology Center on the campus of Western Kentucky Community and Technical College, and the agenda will include a discussion of Kentucky’s death penalty.

Father Pat Delahanty, the coalition chair, and board member Ben Griffith, the brother of a murder victim, will share their views with the committee.

Chris Griffith

Chris Griffith

In speaking about his brother, Ben Griffith recounted:

My brother was murdered in 1986 by a man who randomly killed four people one afternoon. The murderer was executed in 1997, and that was when I fully realized that the death penalty represented the worst of humanity. It also marked the beginning of my active involvement in the movement to abolish it.

Others scheduled to address the committee include state Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, and Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, who sponsored legislation in their respective chambers in the 2014 session to abolish the death penalty.

The Rev. Dr. Marian Taylor of the Kentucky Council of Churches will share faith-based perspectives on capital punishment while Kentucky Justice Secretary J. Michael Brown will address the status and cost of the death penalty in the state.

Also on the agenda are Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan; Ernie Lewis of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey of the 56th judicial circuit; Dr. Allen Ault, dean of criminal justice studies at Eastern Kentucky University.

Here is a video of Ben telling his story about his brother. Other victim family member stories and those of other Kentuckians can be found on the KCADP YouTube Channel.

KCADP encourages supporters of abolition of the death penalty to contact their State Senators and State Representatives and let them know your opinion on this issue. An easy way to reach them is by calling a toll free number – 1.800.372.7181 – and leaving them a message. Their home phone numbers and email addresses are available by clicking on this link.

Photo: Courtesy of Ben Griffith, Chris Griffith’s brother.

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