Effort to end death penalty in Ky. gets first GOP sponsor in three decades

02/12/2014 03:10 PM

Republican Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown joined Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, on Wednesday to file joint legislation aimed at abolishing the death penalty in Kentucky and making life without parole the stiffest penalty a convicted criminal can get.

Floyd, who is sponsor of House Bill 330, becomes the first Republican to serve as primary author of a bill to abolish the death penalty since 1980, according to the ACLU which is supporting the effort to do away with the death penalty.

Floyd said backing the death penalty is inconsistent with conservative philosophy.

“We’re constantly critical of the abuse of political power, but, on the other hand, we trust a government with the power of life and death over a human being who’s in a political system where prosecutors and judges are in political offices,” Floyd said.

Michael Von Allmen of Louisville knows all about being wrongfully convicted.

In 1983, he was convicted of rape and sodomy and spent 11 years in prison and 16 years on probation before being exonerated in 2010.

Von Allmen, who supports abolishing the death penalty, said the the system is clearly flawed.

“How can you execute an innocent person?” he asked at Wednesday’s press conference in Frankfort.

Sen. Gerald Neal, the sponsor of Senate Bill 77, said he expects a challenge to convince a majority in the Republican-led Senate to go along with the measure.

“I will say it’s uphill,” said Neal.

Neal is also sponsoring Senate Concurrent Resolution 131 which would establish a task force to study the costs of administering the death penalty in Kentucky.


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