As officers of the court and members of the bench and bar, we have a duty to uphold the law. We also have an obligation to use our skills, talents and expertise to ensure the fair administration of justice. We take that commitment very seriously. After reviewing too many areas in which we fall short in protecting against wrongful conviction and failing to ensure fair and accurate procedures, we agree with the team’s unanimous recommendation.
We are hopeful that our detailed report and analysis will be a call to action for reform of the death penalty system.
In Kentucky, we must reserve capital punishment for the most heinous of offenses and offenders; we have to make sure that we are getting it right. We owe the citizens of this commonwealth no less.
The Op-Ed is authored by Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association and former president of the Kentucky Bar Association and James E. Keller and Martin E. Johnstone, former Kentucky Supreme Court justices and members of the Kentucky Death Penalty Assessment Team.