Attorney General Cameron files lawsuit against Kentucky Parole Board, Commonwealth’s Attorney reacts

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The state’s top prosecutor, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, has sued the State Parole Board to overturn a policy under which several convicted murderers would have new chances at parole.

Under Kentucky law, when a defendant is given a life sentence without aggravated circumstances, a defendant is eligible for parole after the service of twenty years.

Cameron’s Lawsuit claims the policy gives “the worst of the worst” a second chance at having life-in-prison sentences cut short. He’s asking a judge to invalidate the policy.

The rule applies to dozens of inmates, including convicted murderers.

“The problem with that has been the victims and the victims’ families in these cases thought that the case was over, that the people that have committed such horrendous crimes would be serving the rest of their life in prison,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney, Chris Cohron.

The rule has sparked an outcry from prosecutors statewide.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron says the most important issue, in this case, is the victims and their families.

“These individuals have been through a horrific situation. Some unmentionable crimes. They thought that these cases had had closure. When the parole board issued this order without any consideration of these victims, we thought it was unconscionable and against the law in regards to granting these parole hearings that are not deserved,” Cohron said.

Some prisoners previously ordered to serve out life sentences are scheduled to receive another parole eligibility hearing as early as next month.

“Unfortunately here in Warren County, we have three defendants that were given serve-outs of life sentences who will now have a parole hearing that we do not believe they’re entitled to. We’ve spoken directly with a surviving victim of a brutal home invasion where a young lady’s parents were both executed, during a home invasion robbery. Sadly, she thought this case, for the most part, was over and now is going to have to relive this just for giving the benefit of another parole hearing to three individuals that do not deserve one,” Cohron said.

Cameron filed the lawsuit Friday in Laurel County Circuit Court.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele joined Cameron in filing the suit.

State Parole Board officials said they can’t comment on pending litigation.

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