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Striving to abolish the death penalty in Kentucky by 2025

The Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP) actively advocates to abolish Kentucky’s Capital statute.

By partnering with citizens, corporations, and organizations throughout the Commonwealth, KCADP will erase the biased, costly, and unjust system of executions here in KY. The citizens and juries across the state have spoken and continue to showcase, with each refusal to hand down a capital sentence, that there is no longer an appetite for executions. It’s time to take Kentucky’s death penalty off the table for good.

Death Penalty Facts

Kentucky has not had an execution since 2008.

Individuals on death row were 14X more likely to have their sentences reversed than carried out.

As of 2020, no person on death row in Kentucky was under the age of 45.

Only 3/120 counties have carried out an execution in Kentucky since 1976.

85 Kentucky counties have never sentenced a person to execution.

118/120 Kentucky counties have rarely or never used the death penalty.

The last execution in Kentucky was carried out in 2008.

With such a large gap in executions, some Kentuckians have had an out of sight, out of mind relationship with the death penalty. Unfortunately, the death penalty still looms over the Commonwealth with 26 individuals currently on death row. Commonwealth attorneys in Kentucky’s largest counties still pursue the death penalty with little evidence and when its clear juries have no appetite for it.


Frank Baumgartner, of UNC-Chapel Hill, is a leading voice in death penalty research. Kentucky has only had three executions in the modern era. However, after additional analysis by Tialisha Lumpkin of KCADP regarding the race of victims in cases where people were sentenced to the death penalty, many parallels and connections to the larger death penalty conversation became clear.