The Chatter: Lawyers push for suspending death penalty, another energy official leaves and more

12/07/2011 12:46 PM

The American Bar Association is calling on Governor Steve Beshear to suspend the use of Kentucky’s death penalty after a report shows flaws in the system.

The ABA conducted a report on Kentucky’s death penalty system, making the commonwealth the ninth state to be the subject of the organization’s review.

The nearly 500-page report said more than 60 percent of death penalty convictions have been overturned and that Kentucky lacks uniform interrogation procedures. In light of that, the ABA made the request to suspend the death penalty.

The organization also recommended higher pay for court-appointed attorneys for defendants in death penalty cases.

Second official from Energy Cabinet resigns

Johnny Greene, the executive director of the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing, is retiring at the end of the year, Mike Wynn of the Courier-Journal reports.

Greene is the second departure from the Energy and Environment Cabinet in the last few weeks. Greene’s boss, the Commissioner of Natural Resources, Carl Campbell, was fired recently.

Passport loses exclusive rights

In 2013, Passport will no longer be the sole Medicaid Managed Care provider in the Louisville area, Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal reports.

Since 1997, Passport has been the only outside organization that has contracted with the state to provide Medicaid coverage for poor and disabled residents in Louisville and it’s 16 surrounding counties. But federal regulators informed Kentucky that wouldn’t be the case after 2012. Passport is a non-profit organization created in the mid-1990s.

Kentucky recently entered into statewide contracts with three for-profit managed care providers, CoventryCares, WellCare and Spirit Health Plan.

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