LONDON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Ten years ago was the last time Kentucky executed a death row inmate. Now, a judge who put executions on hold eight years ago, has the legal filings from both sides that could lead to hearings or a ruling.
In the meantime, victim's families are left to wait and question justice. One family spoke with WHAS11’s Chris Williams about the toll that years of uncertainty takes on survivors of brutal killings.
“Dad wouldn’t want to see me like this,” said Sharon Vaughn McGeorge as she cleaned the headstones of her father and uncle. “Me hurting and hating somebody so bad.”
Her father, Rodney Vaughn and his brother Lynn were murdered in 1991 by Kentucky’s most prolific killer. Her last memories of them are through the eyes of a devastated child.
More than 200 miles away, behind the razor wire and granite walls of Eddyville State Penitentiary lives Robert Foley, 62. His death row address is just feet from the room that houses "Old Sparky" and the gurney used to execute Kentucky's death row inmates.
The killings of the Vaughn brothers, and four other people in an unrelated case, earned Foley two separate death sentences.
“When the legislators passed lethal injection, they wasn't trying to be kind to us. The end results are the same electrocution or lethal injection,” Foley said during a 1998 interview with former WHAS11 reporter Stephanie Collins.
Kentucky law had just changed, introducing lethal injection and, since Foley's sentences came before March 31, 1998, he could choose between the chair or the needle.
“I hadn't gave it any real thought, but it's nice to have that kind of choice. If nothing else, like I said, more for my family than for myself,” Foley told Collins.
According to Foley, he determined his fate with the flip of a medallion. He chose lethal injection, but his date with the needle has been delayed due to a judge’s stay on executions.
Some have questioned whether families of victims ever truly get resolution when a judge hands down a death sentence.
It has been decades since Vaughn McGeorge has been able to hug her father and she hates that Foley’s execution has been delayed. She describes her wait as torture.
“I would love to be the one to push the button for him. That's how I feel about it. To me, that IV is an easy way for him. That IV is not enough pain for him. It couldn't come close to it. That IV is nothing of what he should feel,” Vaughn McGeorge said.
Since Kentucky resumed executions in 1976, only three have had their sentences carried out. The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy said natural causes claimed nine others before the executioner could act.
Vaughn McGeorge’s hope is that Kentucky will reinstate the death penalty soon and she gets a front row seat at Foley’s execution.
“I will make sure he will split hell wide open,” Vaughn McGeorge said.