Local News

Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Death penalty opponents dominated testimony at a public hearing in Frankfort on Kentucky’s recently published procedures for executing death row inmates.

Late last year, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled the state’s protocol for executing death row inmates was improperly adopted, and halted further executions. In compliance with the ruling, the protocol was made public.

Now, the public has been given a chance to comment on the procedures. Nineteen people spoke, including Assistant Public Advocate David Barron, who represents several death row inmates. He questions why Kentucky’s lethal injection procedure still involves a three-drug cocktail.

“There is now no reason to do so,” says Barron. “Ohio has carried out two executions using just a barbiturate.”

The Justice Cabinet has until February 15th to respond to public comments, before presenting the execution protocol to a legislative oversight committee. The ultimate decision on re-adoption, or revisions to the procedure, lies with Gov. Steve Beshear.