Lawyers Allege Flaws, Press Moratorium on Death Penalty in Kentucky

Thursday, 08 Dec 2011 11:53 AM

By Greg McDonald

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The American Bar Association (ABA) is recommending that Kentucky impose a temporary moratorium on death penalty cases until it can implement new safeguards to prevent the execution of the innocent, according to a report Thursday in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The ABA said in 520-page analysis compiled by a panel of lawyers, judges, and law professors that the state's death penalty statutes and procedures for executions don’t “sufficiently protect the innocent, convict the guilty and ensure the fair and efficient enforcement of criminal law.”

The analysis, based on a two-year study, noted that Kentucky has made substantial progress to ensure that death penalty defendants are adequately represented. But the Courier-Journal article noted that weaknesses remain in the system that could lead to someone being wrongfully put to death.

The weaknesses include the failure of some police departments to follow nationally recommended identification and interrogation procedures; failure to keep evidence for later DNA testing; and failure to ensure that all 57 of Kentucky's commonwealth's attorneys apply the death penalty in a fair and non-discriminatory way, the newspaper noted.

The ABA analysis outlined more than two dozen possible reforms and stressed that stopping executions temporarily would allow time to resolve the problems in the system. According to the Courier-Journal, the ABA panel pointed out that 52 of the 78 cases prosecuted under the death penalty since it was reinstated nationally in 1976 had their sentences reversed on appeal or had been granted clemency because of breakdowns in the current system. At least 10 of the 78, the paper noted, had also been represented by lawyers that were later disbarred.

The state now has 34 people on death row, but has executed only three under the capital punishment law since 1976.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway disagreed with the ABA panel’s findings, telling the Courier-Journal that it “disregards trial verdicts, years of judicial review and the surviving family members of victims.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Passengers Push Plane on Icy Russian Runway (With Help of a Tractor)

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

Passengers on a Russian plane got off to push the aircraft to help get it on the runway after it began slipping on ice i . . .

Bernie Tiede, Convicted Murderer Mortician, to Get New Sentencing

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 17:39 PM

Bernie Tiede, the mortician who was convicted of killing his companion Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will receive a new sente . . .

Chrysler Pentastar Logo Getting Phased Out With FCA Formation

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Chrysler's iconic Pentastar logo is being phased out as the company introduces a new logo in keeping with the newly form . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved