Kentucky House approves task force to study death penalty

bestep@herald-leader.comMarch 22, 2012 

State representatives on Thursday approved setting up a task force to study possible changes in how Kentucky administers the death penalty.

The American Bar Association released a study last year that cited problems in the system, including a lack of protections against executing seriously mentally ill people; no rule to preserve evidence for as long as someone is in prison, meaning they might miss a chance for DNA tests that could exonerate them; and confusion among jurors about their role in deciding whether to recommend a death sentence.

The task force will study recommendations to implement some of the ABA's findings, said the sponsor, Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, D-Lexington.

The move is not designed to abolish the death penalty, Crenshaw said. The measure passed 73 to 18. It must be approved by the Senate as well.

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