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Death Penalty Discussed On KET

News One

There’s growing support in Kentucky to abolish the death penalty but it won’t happen during the current session of the state legislature.

That’s according to former Kentucky Public Advocate Ernie Lewis. He discussed the issue Monday on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” along with defenders of capital punishment.

Lewis opposes the death penalty on religious and legal grounds. He argues it is unfairly imposed on minorities and the poor.

However, University of Kentucky Law Professor Paul Salamanca says the Constitution clearly allows the ultimate punishment. Salamanca says he wouldn’t argue that life in prison is worse than a death sentence but the legal principle allowing both is the same.

Lewis says legislation to ban capital punishment was introduced with bi-partisan support this year but didn’t get a hearing in the House or Senate.

Salamanca says he’s not a proponent of the death penalty but supports the democratic process and a majority of Kentuckians approve of capital punishment.

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