Sen. Westerfield’s Statement on AG Beshear’s Prior Work Defending Sexual Abusers

Sen. Westerfield’s Statement on AG Beshear’s Prior Work Defending Sexual Abusers

ww-name-lg.png

                           

Senator Westerfield’s Statement on Andy Beshear’s Prior Work Defending Sexual Abusers


HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Today, State Senator Whitney Westerfield learned along with the rest of the Commonwealth that Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear once defended the conduct of alleged child sexual abusers by accusing the victims of delaying their reporting of the abuse.

The Lexington Herald-Leader investigated a case from Paducah involving Beshear as a private attorney successfully getting claims from sexual assault victims thrown from the court system, never having the merits of the case heard before a jury, by blaming the victims for an ‘inexcusable delay’ in bringing their claims to light.

“All advocates for sexual assault victims know too well the blame that is cast on the innocent.  The hypocrisy of Andy Beshear has reached a new level.”

Westerfield has served as chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary since his election to the Senate in 2012, and narrowly lost to Andy Beshear in the race for Attorney General in 2015.

“Even the Herald-Leader in 2015 argued that Beshear should have released his client list, though he never did.  This is precisely the reason why.  Kentucky voters were cheated out of knowing all the facts about Andy’s work history and his thoughts toward sexual assault victims,” said Westerfield.  “Now he would have the people trust him again as a candidate for Governor.  He’s a disgrace to the office, should be ashamed of his hypocrisy, and most importantly, owes an apology to survivors and victims of sexual abuse.”

As an attorney, Westerfield has experience prosecuting criminals and working with law enforcement. As a senator, he sponsored Senate Bill 200 in 2014 which brought about the largest reform to Kentucky’s juvenile justice system in 30 years. He is also committed to developing services and resources that protect victims of crime, including the push for Marsy’s Law, which would enshrine rights for crime victims in Kentucky’s Constitution.

###

Special Session

Special Session

We’ve just gaveled in on Day 2 of the Extraordinary or “Special” Session of the General Assembly, here in the Senate. The Senate will be quiet today as the proposed legislation has been filed (on Day 1) in House.

I’ll be reading the bills today, and you can do the same if you’d like. The bills are available on the LRC site for the special session, but I’ve linked them here if curious:

House Bill 1

House Bill 2

As a reminder, only the Governor can call an Extraordinary Session.  You can find the Governor’s statement along with a link to the official proclamation calling us to Frankfort here.  I’m told that HB1 (252 pages) represents nearly all of the 2018 Regular Session’s SB151, but with some pieces being removed.  You can find SB151 for comparison here.  The proclamation is legally significant.  While any legislator can file any kind of bill during a session, Regular or Extraordinary, the only bills that can proceed to a vote are those limited specifically to the scope of the Governor’s call.

I don’t have any more information to report at this time.  Please be sure to stay tuned here to this space, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

2019 Committee Appointments

2019 Committee Appointments

Earlier today I was informed of my committee appointments, which are organized every other year along with caucus and Senate leadership. As we head toward the 2019 Regular Session, my committee obligations have not changed. I’ve enjoyed serving on each committee below and look forward to continuing that service in January.

  • Agriculture (S), Member

  • Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice (S), Liaison Member

  • Capital Planning Advisory Board, Member

  • Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee, Member

  • Judiciary (S), Chair

  • NR & Energy (S), Member

  • Program Review, Member

  • Tobacco Settlement, Member

  • Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection (S), Member

As always, if you have any questions or if I can be of service to you or your family, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Marsy's Law Ruling

Marsy's Law Ruling

Yesterday, October 15, the Franklin Circuit Court issued its ruling in the legal challenge by the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to SB3 (2018), known widely as Marsy’s Law. The Court determined that the ballot question for this constitutional amendment addressing victims’ rights is unconstitutional. I profoundly disagree with this determination, and will seek transfer of the inevitable appeal directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court. As the sponsor of SB 3, I have worked tirelessly to elevate the voice of crime victims within the criminal justice system as a constitutional right, and I am steadfastly committed to this cause regardless of today’s ruling. I remain confident that SB 3 will be incorporated into the Kentucky Constitution by the voters of the Commonwealth.

These are the key takeaways to keep in mind:

  1. The ruling is being appealed; the notice of appeal was filed today.

  2. Marsy’s Law WILL STILL be on the ballot in November and we still NEED YOUR VOTE!

  3. The Judge’s ruling expressly allows for the Secretary of State to still count the ballots in support of Marsy’s Law. This was done to allow for the orderly appeal process in which we are now engaged.

  4. Our fight to ensure crime victims the rights and respect they deserve continues stronger than ever!

  5. For more information about Marsy’s Law, FAQ, endorsements and news releases, please visit https://www.victimsrightsky.com/

  6. A misleading narrative keeps popping up that Marsy’s Law will weaken the presumption of innocence. This is FALSE. In fact, the proposed amendment specifically includes language that clearly states “Nothing in this section shall afford the victim party status, or be construed as altering the presumption of innocence in the criminal justice system.” (SB3, p.2, Lines 7-8)

You can find PDF’s of my statement, the Franklin Circuit Court’s ruling and the full text of Marsy’s Law below. Stay up to date on the case by bookmarking this site, or by following on Twitter and Facebook (linked below). I’ll keep updates posted as I have them.

KYTC Traffic Advisory

KYTC Traffic Advisory

A heads up for I-24 summer travelers through West Kentucky from the Transportation Cabinet: 


Traffic ADVISORY

As a reminder, EASTBOUND traffic continues to be restricted to ONE LANE along Interstate 24 at the Tennessee River Bridge at the 30 mile marker in Kentucky.

I-24 eastbound traffic is restricted to one lane at the 30 mile marker due to a defective finger joint on the bridge deck.  All traffic is moved to the left-hand or passing lane on the bridge.

A $1.1 million contract for replacement of the joint and other work on the bridge was issued to American Contracting & Services, Inc., on May 2, 2018.  Due to close tolerance design requirements for the new joint, fabrication of a new joint is a tedious process.  At this time, it appears a new joint will not be ready for the contractor to start installation until well after the July 4th Holiday.  Therefore, this lane restriction will have to remain in place long-term.

Eastbound motorists traveling I24 should continue to be alert for slowing and merging traffic as they approach this lane restriction at the 30 mile marker. To aid in traffic flow at this location, motorists should start moving to the left-hand or passing lane after they pass the US 62 Exit 27 Overpass.

Some traffic delays have been evident at this site during peak travel periods each Friday afternoon and on weekends.  Traffic backups of 2 to 3 miles have occasionally been observed at this site.  This will especially be the case for busy July 4th Independence Day Holiday travel period.

While lane restrictions will be taken down wherever possible to prepare for the high traffic volume expected over the July 4thIndependence Day Holiday, this work zone lane restriction will have to remain in place.

To reduce the potential for delays, eastbound motorists on I-24 may choose to self-detour around this lane restriction via US 62 East and KY 453 North between I-24 Exit 27 at Calvert City and I-24 Exit 31 at Grand Rivers or I-24 Exit 40 at Eddyville.

The Interstate 24 Tennessee River Bridges are twin tied arch suspension bridges at mile point 29.352 at the Marshall-Livingston County Line.

The 2,017 ft. bridges with a 534 ft. main span are also known as the Luther Draffen Bridge. The bridges opened to traffic in 1974. The structure carries approximately 30,000 vehicles across the Tennessee River in an average day.

Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KYTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

###