Committee Reviews Death Penalty Protocol

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The revised protocol for carrying out the death penalty in Kentucky has been reviewed by a legislative oversight committee in Frankfort.

Kentucky’s highest court last year halted all executions in the state pending proper adoption of the execution protocol. The protocol covers procedures used for both lethal injection and electrocution.

After a public hearing on the policy in late January, the corrections department made some revisions. But the revised protocol continues to raise questions.

Assistant Public Advocate David Barron wants the curtains between the death chamber and witnesses to remain open during the entire process, in case something goes wrong.

“If they can’t see, and nobody else can explain, or the media can’t report, there is no way for that information to be adequately conveyed to a court in the last moments where an action can be taken,” says Barron.

But finding no deficiencies in the revised protocol, a legislative oversight committee is forwarding the matter on to two other panels. The ultimate decision on adoption of the policy lies with Gov. Beshear.