Death Penalty & Abolition Facts

There are currently 26 individuals on death row.

60% of death row cases end in reversal.

Only 3 counties of 120 have executed an individual in the modern era of the death penalty.

  • Boone County
  • Madison County
  • Jefferson County

Average Cost

$10 m
$130 m
$8 m

2021 Kentucky Death Penalty Study

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— when it’s 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 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.

More Facts and Studies