One-time death row inmate joins Kentucky debate about whether to abolish death penalty

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FRANKFORT, Kentucky — Death penalty opponents looking to make inroads with Kentucky lawmakers are getting help from a former death row inmate who was exonerated with DNA evidence.

Kirk Bloodsworth, a Maryland man who spent more than eight years in prison until his release, visited the Kentucky Capitol on Wednesday to endorse efforts to abolish the death penalty.

Bloodsworth calls capital punishment a social injustice due to the potential that innocent people will be put to death. He says being confined in a tiny prison cell without parole is a better punishment.

Kentucky has executed three people since 1976 and 34 inmates are currently on death row.

Bills introduced by Democratic Sen. Gerald Neal and Republican Rep. David Floyd would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without parole.

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