it is important that we all work together to end the death penalty in Kentucky by clicking here and taking action now.
Senator Gerald Neal has filed Senate Bill 41 in the Senate which is a bill that repeals the death penalty and keeps in place all the other options currently available to jurors in capital cases, including life without the possibility of parole. Since the bill was filed several other Senators have added their names to the legislation by co-sponsoring SB 41: Senators Perry Clark, Denise Harper Angel, Julie Raque Adams andReggie Thomas.
In the House State Rep. David Floyd filed House Bill 203 which will accomplish the same goal as the senate bill: end the death penalty and keep in place all the other possible punishments a jury may consider under the current law, including life without the possibility of parole. State Representative Darryl Owens and Arnold Simpson also signed on as co-sponsors of HB 203.
A variety of voices have been raised calling for this change in the way Kentucky punishes certain violent offenders. Last November the Courier-Journal published articles by Allen Ault, Ben Griffith, David Floyd and Marc Hyden. These four writers – a former warden, a murder victim family member, a state legislator who sponsors an abolition bill in the House and a former NRA staff member who now organizes Conservatives Concerned about the death penalty – make cogent arguments for repeal. You can download what they have written as a package and give it to your state legislators. Click here to download all four articles.
In talking to legislators it is important to point out that there is now clear bi-partisan support for repealing the death penalty in Kentucky. More and more Kentuckians – especially from a politically conservative perspective – are recognizing that we should not be trusting government with the taking of human life. Courts in Kentucky and at the federal level have rejected death sentences in more than 60% of the cases in which it was imposed because the defendants’ constitutional right to a fair trial were violated. Moreover, an error rate this egregious can only lead to instances where innocent defendants risk execution, as did Larry Osborne, a 17-year old defendant convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that our Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously declared was an unfair trial. The prosecutor and judge allowed hearsay testimony that put Larry Osborne on death row. The jury in his second trial found him not guilty.
Now is time to take action and have an impact on ending the death penalty in Kentucky. Please contact your state legislators and ask for their support of SB 41 and HB 203. Click on the photo to send your message today.