In August state Senator Whitney Westerfield and Representative John Tilley hosted a joint Judiciary Committee hearing on Kentucky’s death penalty system. This was the first hearing of its kind, discussing whether Kentucky should have capital punishment.

Thank these brave lawmakers for giving concerned Kentuckians a platform to call for the repeal of the death penalty.

A recent American Bar Association review has shown Kentucky has an error rate of more than 60 percent in death penalty cases. The death penalty is unevenly applied – varying widely based on where a crime occurred and the race of the defendant. By hosting the hearing, Westerfield and Tilley have started an important conversation about Kentucky’s troubled system.

Rep. David Floyd’s hearing testimony was widely quoted in newspapers across the state:
We shouldn’t support a government program that can kill innocent people. It’s a government program, they’re run by human beings and mistakes can be made. And with the death penalty, innocent people can and I believe have been executed.
Rep. Floyd is right. Kentucky’s death penalty system has several issues related to fairness and accuracy. Thank Westerfield and Tilley for their attention and leadership on the death penalty.