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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A local legal expert is speaking out against the idea to medically parole Kentucky's longest-serving inmate.
Willie Smith has been in jail for 54 years and his case will soon be considered by the Kentucky Corrections Commissioner.
Smith has been denied parole more than 10 times, but that hasn't stopped the movement on the part of some to get him out of jail.
Smith, who's now 76 years old, was convicted along with another man of killing a Lexington gas station clerk in 1960.
"I'd rather be free than be in here," said Smith. "I think I've been in here long enough."
Smith claims he was forced to confess by police.
His co-defendant was released more than 30 years ago.
Now, Lousiville Defense Attorney, Ted Shouse, is taking a fresh look at Smith's case.
"A serve out in Mr. Smith's case is exactly that," said Shouse. "You'll serve until you die."
He's suggested medical parole as Smith's ticket out of prison and into a nursing home.
"Where inmates, like Mr. Smith, can be medically paroled to private nursing facilities, so they don't cost as much money for the prison," said Jason Riley, Researcher. "It will be paid for by Medicaid. the problem is you have to find a nursing home that will take them."
Fayette Commonwealth Attorney, Ray Larson, doesn't agree with the idea.
"After 54 years everybody seems to have forgotten that this guy and his co-defendant snuffed a life out," said Larson. "Give me a break. Now, if this Delahanty guy or Ed Monahan, they want him to get out, they ought to take him home with them. That's a good idea. Why don't they take him home with them."
Kentucky lawmakers approved the program to let out some infirmed inmates provided they aren't a sex offender or on death row.
Willie Smith was declared insane in 1963.