Gov. Paul Patton has signed a death warrant for condemned killer Vincent Stopher to be put to death on July 9.
No execution is expected. Stopher has several avenues of appeal available, but has not obtained a stay of execution while his case is pending. Patton's office has adopted a policy of signing death warrants to move cases along.
Stopher killed Jefferson County deputy sheriff Gregory Hans on March 10, 1997. Hans was responding to a report of a domestic dispute. During a struggle, Stopher took Hans' service pistol and shot him to death.
Stopher's conviction and sentence were upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review it.
The Corrections Department lists 36 people on death row in Kentucky.
Kentucky has executed two inmates since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.
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