Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Editorials

December 11, 2013

Should judge recuse in death penalty issue?

Dec. 11, 2013 — We have praised Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd in the past for what we believe most Kentuckians would agree have been sensible legal opinions in important cases like redistricting.

A circuit judge in the home of the state capitol has frequent opportunities to impact the entire state through rulings on state laws and regulations.

Anyone who wants to sue the Commonwealth of Kentucky must do so in Franklin County.

Judge Shepherd is an able jurist and we mean no disrespect to him but we believe he should consider recusing himself from further rulings on the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty statute.

It was Judge Shepherd who stopped the use of lethal injections in 2010 in response to a lawsuit brought by death row inmates over Kentucky's execution procedures.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections rewrote its protocols for administering the drugs supposed to bring sudden, painless death to the condemned.

The state also developed other sources of the required lethal chemicals in case of shortages at the wrong time.

Kentucky switched from the electric chair to lethal injections because it is a more humane way to kill someone.

If you think that is barbaric, keep in mind that until 1911 we used to hang our murderers in front of cheering, jeering crowds.

Kentucky’s electric chair, called “Old Sparky”, remains on standby at the state prison at Eddyville.

If you killed someone before March 31, 1998, you still have the right to choose to die in the chair or by lethal injection.

Judge Shepherd refused last week to lift his injunction prohibiting executions. But he did say the state now has the right protocols in place for lethal injections.

However, he ruled those death row convicts can have more time to amend their 2006 lawsuit to raise new questions about access to an attorney, public viewing of executions and execution of the mentally ill.

Text Only
Editorials
  • Robbing Peter, Paul, and everyone else

    We intended that headline to read “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” but that was not broad enough to include all of the Kentuckians who pay into special funds that Gov. Steve Beshear again had to confiscate to balance the state’s budget.

    July 30, 2014

  • Five years and counting on Saturday mail

    It was five years ago when that marvel of fiscal management, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS), announced it would end Saturday mail delivery within six months.

    July 23, 2014

  • Yes, girls can become scientists, engineers

    We applaud the television commercials sponsored by Verizon which gently but effectively rebuke those among us who discourage girls and young women from careers in science, technology and mathematics.

    July 16, 2014

  • High court right on mobile phone ruling

    We don’t always agree with the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court which is often divided with multiple opinions. But, for the moment, we feel better about the high court because of its recent ruling on searching mobile phones.

    July 9, 2014

  • Would we pay the same high price today?

    As we Americans take a day off from work on Friday to mark the 238th birthday of our country, can we find a few moments to reflect on those who made it happen?

    July 2, 2014

  • Trading Saturday mail for roads is a hoax

    Just when we thought all of the idiotic ideas had emerged from the current Congress, along came another doozy. A Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed that Saturday mail delivery be ended and the resulting savings be used to fix roads and bridges across America.

    June 25, 2014

  • Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

    If last week’s news from Iraq left you with a sense of déjà vu, you are not alone. “Déjà vu” is defined as “disagreeable familiarity or sameness” and that certainly fits what appears to be the emergence of another Islamic militant group which took control of two major cities in Iraq.

    June 18, 2014

  • Technology bringing closure to MIA families

    After 58 years in an unmarked grave in a military cemetery in Hawaii, a Kentucky soldier came home last Saturday to his family and a final resting place in his native soil.

    June 11, 2014

  • New state veterans leader a great choice

    Some may criticize Gov. Steve Beshear for appointing former Miss America Heather French Henry as commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Veterans Affairs.

    June 4, 2014

  • As is, Rupp Arena project not worth saving

    When the General Assembly decided last month not to allow state bonds to be used to help fund the Rupp Arena renovation, we said it was unfair because Louisville got state money for the KFC Yum Center four years earlier.

    May 28, 2014

Poll