FRANKFORT, Ky. -
Democratic state Rep. Carl Rollins of Midway drafted a measure that would make Kentucky's stiffest sentence life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Rollins bill calls for the term "capital punishment" to be stricken altogether from state law.
Similar legislation has been introduced intermittently in Kentucky over the past 25 years, but has never garnered enough support to pass.
The Rev. Patrick Delahanty, chairman of the Kentucky Coalition To Abolish The Death Penalty, said he's heartened that Rollins already posted the bill last week and it's ready to be filed when lawmakers convene on Jan. 8. Delahanty, a Catholic priest, said he senses growing support for the measure.
"There are people more and more concerned about ... the possibility of executing an innocent person," Delahanty said. "There's just a great deal of distrust in that system now."
Activists delivered more than 1,500 postcards to Gov. Steve Beshear in December asking that he sign no more death warrants and that he work to abolish the death penalty. They called the death penalty "a risky, arbitrary, unfair, ineffective and costly distraction from justice," and urged Kentucky to follow the lead of other states that have rejected capital punishment.
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