LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – A Kentucky prosecutor is going to court Monday to try and stop a recent policy change by the State Parole Board. The change would give dozens of convicted killers another chance at parole, some as early as next month.
When we found out about that change, a commonwealth’s attorney told WDKY’s Victor Puente he thought there might be lawsuits to try to prevent it. Now, he’s joined the attorney general in filing one.
This is the second lawsuit related to the change made by the parole board in April.
The new rule means the board couldn’t issue a serve out order to people serving sentences of life or life without parole for a minimum of 25 years, at their first parole hearing.
That means 45 inmates who thought they would spend the rest of their lives in prison could get new parole hearings.
The mother of one of those victim’s said she didn’t know about the change until we called her.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Jackie Steele, commonwealth’s attorney for Laurel and Knox counties have filed a lawsuit that says the board didn’t follow policy when enacting that new rule, so they’re asking a judge to issue a restraining order before those new hearings start.
Another lawsuit filed by Pulaski Commonwealth’s Attorney David Dalton argues that change violates Marcy’s Law, which was recently passed and gave crime victims additional rights.
“These folks have rights. They were violated, period. Mr. Coffey got a trial after he murdered those two kids. He got due process. He got an appeal, he got a parole board hearing. These victims got nothing. They got absolutely nothing. I think it’s a fundamental fairness issue. I think they were given rights under Marcy’s law and they’ve been violated,” Dalton said.
There’s a hearing Monday afternoon in Knox County over that temporary restraining order request.