Year of Reenactment
(since 1972 suspension)
Year of First Execution
(since reenactment)

1894-1909: hanging

1910-1997: electrocution

1998-present: lethal injection or electrocution

Current Method
Lethal injection

Choice between lethal injection or electrocution if the inmate was convicted after March 31, 1998


Kentucky has life without parole.   A jury decides the sentence.  The Governor has the sole authority to commute a death sentence to a term of life without parole.

In 1998, Kentucky became the only state to pass a racial justice act. Since then, North Carolina passed a similar statute in 2009.

In 2002, Larry Osborne was exonerated when the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed his conviction, which was based upon hearsay testimony.  In 2003, Kevin Stanford was granted clemency on the basis of his age (17) at the time of the crime.

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