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November 24, 2009

Governor receives competing death penalty requests in Kentucky

News articles this morning in The Courier-Journal report on competing requests being made of the Governor of Kentucky.  Here is one story's lead: "Gov. Steve Beshear has been asked to halt all executions until a 10-member team of state lawyers and former judges recently appointed by the American Bar Association can assess Kentucky‚Äôs flawed death-penalty system."  Here is another story's lead: "Attorney General Jack Conway on Monday asked Gov. Steve Beshear to set execution dates for three death-row inmates."

Though I am inclined to assume that the AG's request for execution dates will surely eclipse the ABA's request for a moratorium, Kentucky has a funny history with respect to executions.  Though many of its neighbors (especially Virginia and Ohio and Indiana) have executed a significant numbers of murderers, Kentucky has had only three executions in the modern era, and I believe two of those who were most recently executed were volunteers who had dropped some appeal opportunities.

November 24, 2009 at 09:50 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Nov 24, 2009 5:41:50 PM


Tennessee has also been slow, as has Illinois. Let's hope these vicious killers (one of whom killed six people) get final justice sooner rather than later.

And with respect to Ohio, let's hope Ken Biros gets the big jab very soon as well. Ohio has spent enough time on him.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 24, 2009 10:32:58 AM

"This article captures the sorry state of disrepair into which the historic power of clemency has fallen. It would be bad enough if Governor Strickland was to denied all clemency requests during his nearly three years in office; the fact that these requests all sit upon his desk unaddressed is especially iniquitous. Gov Strickland and his staff have surely had more than enough time to establish a general policy for dealing with clemency requests and to start applying that policy to the hundreds of cases that have been awaiting a decision for many years. But rather than have the courage to grant or deny clemency requests, Gov Strickland is content to just let these requests (and the many humans impacted thereby) rot away from neglect."

Doug, I have no problem with you blasting Strickland here. But given that he just ruled on 78 cases, I was wondering whether you stood by your remarks. It appears you do. They are strong. "Intemperate" was probably a bad choice of words on my part.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 24, 2009 10:36:32 AM

I am happy to say now that I am happy to see Strickland has shown enough courage to finally resolve part of the clemency backlog. But I still do not understand what took so long, and I am certainly eager for him not to wait another 3 years to make another set of decisions.

I find especially amusing, federalist, when you express concern for "strong" remarks given that most of your comments on this blog can be considered "strong." Indeed, your prior comments which roots for Biros to get "the big jab very soon" seems much more potent than anything I said about Strickland's clemency record. I am just calling out an elected politician for neglecting part of his job, you are actively rooting for another human beings death. You castle clearly has many rooms, federalist.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 24, 2009 11:52:42 AM

I don't have a problem at all with strong comments. But I think that your comments on things often are less than fully thought out.

And yes I am rooting for Biros' death. The victim's family has waited far too long.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 24, 2009 1:26:47 PM

It is amusing to see, federalist, your concern that my comments "often are not fully thought out" in the same thread where you acknowledge that your use of the adjective "intemperate" in a prior comment was not fully thought out.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 24, 2009 3:45:20 PM

Your assumption is correct--two dropped their appeals. One of them had been trying to kill himself for years; the citizens of Kentucky finally gave him what he wanted.

Attorney General--and U.S. Senate candidate--Jack Conway is hoping to double the amount of inmates Kentucky has executed. The Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty provides a rn down of what's going on here:


Posted by: Zach | Nov 24, 2009 6:05:45 PM

Difference is, Doug, that I will correct my comments on that score. Your comments about Strickland were intemperate, but that's not my issue.

As for not fully thinking through--take a look at your use of "conflict of interest" or your casual attribution of racial bias to those with whom you disagree.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 24, 2009 9:37:28 PM

I am still waiting to hear what I said that you consider intemperate, but that's not a topic worthy of continue obsession. And, like you, I often opt to use strong terms in order to provoke. And you are the one who sees racial bias when I merely note racial realities.

Happy holidays.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 24, 2009 10:32:29 PM

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