Controversial courthouse decorations removed

Controversial Halloween display removed

BRANDENBURG, Ky (WHAS11) -- It's the season for pumpkins, skeletons, and all things spooky, but many are saying a local courthouse may have gone too far with their Halloween display.

A photo of a Halloween display inside the Meade County Courthouse went viral over the past week leaving some to question whether its location outside of a courtroom was appropriate.

For many of us, Halloween decorations like this are simply a sign of the season, but after a number of complaints the only decoration you’ll find inside the Meade County courthouse is a sign.

“It’s normal to have Halloween decorations up for little kids to see and enjoy when they come into places,” said Cynthia Embrey

Last week, Meade County Judge Executive Gerry Lynn had county employees remove these decorations from the courthouse after the Kentucky Innocence Project raised concerns that the display featured a skeleton in inmates clothing sitting in the electric chair.

“The attorneys felt it would be inappropriate and it would actually interfere with the process of the Administration of the Courts,” said Lynn.

The decorations, which some saw as a slight at Keith Hardin and Jeff Clark who recently had their murder convictions overturned, are now being stored in an office for the time being.

“I felt like for not having any implications towards the judicial process, we needed to remove that so it would not interfere with anything that would be on the court document that say any kind of capital punishment,” said Lynn.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Embrey.  “I don’t see where Halloween decorations have anything to do with a murder trial.”

“It’s just bad timing,” said Lynn.  “They can call it whatever it is, but it’s Halloween.”

Both Keith Hardin and Jeff Clark are scheduled to be back in the Meade County Courthouse for Court on Thursday.


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