Ky. Won't Appeal Ruling Halting Executions

Dec 24, 2013

Kentucky will not appeal a judge's ruling that has kept a ban on executions in place.

State officials are fighting out the issue in a lawsuit brought by inmates challenging the way lethal injections are carried out.

Justice Cabinet spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin also told The Associated Press that there won't be an attempt to rewrite the regulations for executions to deal with concerns raised by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd.

Earlier this month, Shepherd opted to keep in place an injunction that has stopped Kentucky from carrying out any death sentences since 2010. He had raised concerns about how the state would determine if an inmate is mentally disabled, if the public and defense attorneys see enough of the execution preparation before the lethal injection begins and if the inmate has access to counsel in the hours leading up to an execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court has previously addressed many of these issues, with a decision barring the execution of the mentally disabled being the most recent.

The decision not to appeal Shepherd's decision delays by months Kentucky's ability to carry out a death sentence for any of its 33 inmates on death row as briefs are filed and a hearing is held before a final ruling comes down.