State Sen. Gerald Neal plans to file a bill that would replace the death penalty in Kentucky with a sentence of life without parole.
For years, Neal has filed a bill to outlaw the death penalty.
But he says a combination of factors—ranging from reticence by party leaders who support it but don’t want to appear soft on crime, to those who believe in the death penalty as a means of justice—have prevented the bill from getting traction.
Neal says he continues filing the measure to keep the issue front and center.
“I have filed it quite a bit,” says Neal, a Louisville Democrat. “I make a point to file it, to keep the issue out front, and, who knows? In the arena where I operate, you never know what that outcome might be. it’s sort of like playing the lottery, you know? If you don’t play, you can’t win, right?”
Neal says he’s unsure when Kentucky might join the 18 states that have banned the death penalty since it was reinstated on a federal level in 1976, but he remains confident that it’s only a matter of time.
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