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Thread: Outgoing Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) pardoned rapists, murderers and hundreds more

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    Outgoing Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) pardoned rapists, murderers and hundreds more

    https://www.vox.com/2019/12/14/21022...onnell-beshear

    Before handing over power to Gov. Andy Beshear (D) last week, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) used his final days in office to issue hundreds of pardons, including people convicted of sexual assault and murder.

    The decision has drawn criticism from both the left and the right, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling the pardons ?completely inappropriate? and Beshear calling the pardon of Dayton Jones, who was convicted of raping a child, ?wrong.?

    Overall, the former governor issued 428 pardons, including Jones; a man who was convicted of killing his parents at age 16; and Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted of homicide and other crimes, and whose family has raised thousands of dollars to retire debt from Bevin?s 2015 gubernatorial campaign, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

    On Twitter, Bevin pushed back against ?suggestions that financial or political considerations played a part in the decision making process,? calling such allegations ?both highly offensive and entirely false.? He also wrote he issued the pardons because ?America is a nation that was established with an understanding and support for redemption and second chances.?

    But party leaders in the state do not agree. McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the US Senate since 1985, told media at a press conference following his decision to file for re-election, ?I expect he had the power to do it, but looking at the examples of people who were incarcerated as a result of heinous crimes ? no, I don?t approve of it.?

    And Beshear told NPR?s Here & Now that although he would not comment on all of the pardons, he was particularly bothered by the pardoning of Jones, whose case he worked on during his time as Kentucky?s attorney general. He said Jones had committed one of the ?worst crimes? his office had ever seen.

    ?It was an awful case where a young man in high school was attacked, was violated. It was filmed. It was sent out to different people at his school,? he said. ?I fully disagree with that pardon. ... It is a shame. And it?s wrong.?

    Republican state officials had similar worries. Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has advocated for the US attorney in Kentucky to investigate the pardons, and Republican Commonwealth?s Attorney Jackie Steele called into question why Bevin didn?t pardon Baker?s co-conspirators in robbery and homicide, arguing that choice seemed to suggest the donations of Baker?s family may have played a role in Bevin?s calculus.

    Some Democrats have joined Stivers? call for an independent investigation, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey (D) told journalists ?Gov. Bevin?s pardons show what is a shocking lack of judgment and potentially an abuse of our system of justice.?
    https://www.npr.org/2019/12/13/78781...-hundreds-more

    Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin departed the governor's mansion three days ago, but the reverberations of some of his final actions are still being felt across the state.

    Bevin, a Republican who narrowly lost a bid for a second term last month, issued pardons to hundreds of people, including convicted rapists, murderers and drug offenders.

    In one case, Bevin pardoned a man convicted of homicide. That man's family raised more than $20,000 at a political fundraiser to help Bevin pay off a debt owed from his 2015 gubernatorial campaign.

    In all, the former governor signed off on 428 pardons and commutations since his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear, according to The Courier-Journal. The paper notes, "The beneficiaries include one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hit man to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents."
    One pardon that had Sanders ? and many others ? particularly outraged was that of Micah Schoettle. He's a 41-year-old convicted of raping a 9-year-old child last year. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, according to the Courier-Journal.

    In his pardon order, Bevin wrote, "Micah Schoettle was tried and convicted of a heinous crime based only on testimony that was not supported by any physical evidence."

    He added: "This case was investigated and prosecuted in a manner that was sloppy at best. I do not believe that the charges against Mr. Schoettle are true."

    Bevin commuted Schoettle's sentenced to time served and ordered a full and unconditional pardon.

    Another of Bevin's pardons was of Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted in 2017 of murdering Donald Mills and tampering with physical evidence, among other charges.

    As the Courier-Journal also reports, Baker's family "raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year to retire debt from Bevin's 2015 gubernatorial campaign." Baker's brother and sister-in-law also donated $4,000 to Bevin campaign, according to a state election finance database, the paper reports.

    "Patrick Baker is a man who has made a series of unwise decisions in his adult life," Bevin wrote in his pardon letter dated Dec. 6, adding that evidence in his conviction was "sketchy at best."

    "I am not convinced that justice has been served in the death of Donald Mills, nor am I convinced that the evidence has proven the involvement of Patrick Baker as murderer," Bevin wrote.

    Baker was sentenced to 19 years, but served just two. His sentence was commuted to time served and a pardon only for the charges connected to the conviction.

    Not all of Bevin's pardons were so contentious.

    He also pardoned Tamishia Wilson of Henderson, Ky., convicted in 2006 of trafficking marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. She was also convicted in 2004 of theft.

    Bevin proclaimed in a Dec. 9 letter that she "is a new woman. She has turned her life around and become a model citizen."

    The former governor also spared the life of death row inmate Gregory Wilson, who was convicted in 1988 of murder. The Courier-Journal reports the trial was widely described as "a travesty of justice and a national embarrassment for Kentucky."

    The paper said Wilson's defense team consisted of two lawyers, one of whom "had never tried a felony before" and a lead counsel who "had no office, no law books and on his business card, he gave out the phone number to a local tavern."

    An array of other ethical woes plagued the case.

    Bevin commuted his sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole, writing that Wilson received "the short end of the justice stick. ... Regardless of the final resolution of future parole board hearings, Mr. Wilson at least deserves an equal opportunity for justice to be served."

    Reached on Thursday for comment by The Washington Post, Bevin said of the pardons, "I'm a believer in second chances."

    "If there has been a change and there's no further value that comes for the individual, for society, for the victims, for anybody, if a person continues to stay in," Bevin noted, "then that's when somebody should be considered for a commutation or a pardon."

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    https://www.kentucky.com/news/politi...238320918.html

    It’s not clear if Betty Carnes was killed by asphyxiation or by the eight blows to her head that Delmar Partin delivered with a metal pipe. The coroner couldn’t tell which killed the mother of three first, but it was very clear that her head was then chopped off and placed on her lap in a 55-gallon barrel that was destined for a toxic waste site.

    On Monday, departing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned and commuted the sentence of Partin, who was convicted of killing her at the factory where they both worked in Barbourville in 1994.

    In his order, Bevin said he pardoned Partin because potential DNA evidence had not been tested.

    “Given the inability or unwillingness of the state to use existing DNA evidence to either affirm or disprove this conviction, I hearby pardon Mr. Partin for this crime and encourage the state to make every effort to bring final justice to the victim and her family,” Bevin wrote.

    The prosecutor on the case, Tom Handy, said he hasn’t been this angry in a long time. He called the governor’s pardon “mystifying.”

    “I think its arrogance of one who has a God-like image of himself,” Handy said of Bevin. “And a lack of concern for anybody else.”

    The pardon was just one of several controversial pardons and commutations Bevin issued in his final days in office. The list includes several in Handy’s old district, including a teacher, Charles Doug Phelps, who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and tampering with a witness. In his pardon, Bevin called the conviction “long on duration, long on accusation, long on drama and short on evidence.”

    The police found photos of minors performing sexual acts on Phelps’ phone.

    In the Partin case, Handy painted the picture of a grisly murder, one where no blood was found because Partin used a hook meant for hunting alligators to cut off the blood flow to Carnes’ head.

    Partin and Carnes worked together at the Tremco Plant in Barbourville and had been having an affair that she had recently ended.

    “He hated her so much and he wanted to punish her with her looking at him before he cut her head off,” Handy said. “The evil is unimaginable.”

    Handy said Partin’s defense attorney, Bill Johnson, had never even brought up DNA evidence in his many appeals, which went all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

    “I don’t think the governor got the record of a two week trial and read it,” Handy said.

    In 2008, Partin asked the Knox County Circuit Court to perform a DNA test on a strand of hair found in Partin’s trash can. His request was denied and that denial was upheld by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

    When the Court of Appeals ruled against testing the DNA evidence, Justice Laurence VanMeter acknowledged that “evidence of Partin’s guilt was circumstantial,” but said the “evidence as a whole was sufficient to uphold the jury’s verdict and the trial court’s denial of a directed verdict.”

    VanMeter wrote that that Partin wanted the DNA test on hair found in his kitchen trash, but the jury was already aware the hair in the trash may or may not have belonged to the victim.

    Johnson said he couldn’t recall exactly what DNA evidence the governor was referring to in the pardon (he learned of the pardon through a Herald-Leader reporter), but said he was pleased Partin was pardoned. Johnson said Partin was a quiet man who was well behaved in prison and adamant that he did not commit the crime.
    Bevin’s former chief of staff, Blake Brickman, did not respond to a text message asking if either he or Bevin would comment on the hundreds of pardons and commutations Bevin issued in the final days of his administration, which ended Monday night.

    Jackie Steele, the current commonwealth’s attorney in Knox and Laurel counties, cited several other pardons in his jurisdiction that made him unhappy.

    One of them was Patrick Baker, who was one of three men convicted of a murder in Knox County in 2014. Baker’s sentence was commuted, but the other two men remain in prison. Baker’s brother and sister-in-law held a fundraiser in 2018 for Bevin that raised $21,500, and personally contributed $4,000.

    “This is a travesty of our justice system,” Steele said. “When you have law enforcement and prosecutors and families who sludge through this process.... when they do get justice and he turns around and does something like this? It’s a travesty.”
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 12-14-2019 at 06:47 PM.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    This is wrong on so many levels that I’m speechless. I feel so bad for the victims families.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    This is wrong on so many levels that I’m speechless. I feel so bad for the victims families.
    Me too. I was floored when I read about some of the cases he pardoned. He's trying to act like there was no real case against the murderers and child rapists, but that's not the case, the evidence was strong. The families of the victims have to feel like justice has been denied and the system is rigged. I would go ballistic if I were them!

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    What?s ironic is he tried to pass some strict anti abortion laws.

    People are saying he did this as a big ?fuck you? to Kentucky for not re-electing him.

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    https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/20/us/fo...rnd/index.html

    In his final days in office, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued hundreds of pardons and commutations to people he said he would not hesitate to welcome as neighbors, co-workers or members of his church.

    The pardons largely drew shock and outrage not only because of the sheer number or apparent political motivations, but also because some involved violent criminals, including convicted murderers and rapists.

    Still, Bevin further enraged critics when he said during a radio interview Thursday with WHAS in Louisville that he pardoned a child rapist partly because the hymen of the 9-year-old victim was still intact.

    When WHAS host Terry Meiners asked Bevin about the pardon, the former governor focused on the lack of evidence from physical examinations of the victim and her sister.

    "Both their hymens were intact," Bevin said. "This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me, if you had been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically."

    His claim was made despite expert studies showing most child victims do not show evidence of physical damage and that examination of the tissue is not a reliable test of sexual activity. In fact, a 2012 study by the peer-reviewed journal Forensic Science International found that 90% of child victims don't suffer physical damage from sexual abuse.

    The case involved a man named Micah Schoettle, who was convicted in 2018 in Kenton County of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse, and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

    "Micah Schoettle was tried and convicted of a heinous crime based only on testimony that was not supported by any physical evidence," Bevin wrote in his executive order signed December 9. "In fact, any and all evidence that is available, refutes the allegations that were made."

    He added that the case was investigated and prosecuted in a "manner that was sloppy at best."

    Schoettle's trial had included testimony from the victim, according to CNN affiliate WCPO. Schoettle had served fewer than 18 months.

    "You should not be sent to jail based simply the word, an uncorroborated word, of a single individual especially when it is possible to verify that medically and physically and there were no ability to do so," Bevin said in the interview.

    CNN has sought comment from Bevin and Schoettle's attorney and has not heard back. CNN has not been able to access the court files.

    The mother of Schoettle's victim called his pardon a "slap in the face," CNN affiliate WCPO reported.

    "It feels like we're going through it all over again ... we just got to the point where we felt safe leaving the house and not looking over our shoulders," the mother, who said she is considering moving her family, told the station.

    Prosecutor Rob Sanders of Kenton County told CNN that Schoettle was not in custody long enough to start sex offender treatment and argued his release puts other children at risk.

    Sanders, who prosecuted the case originally, said his office will investigate the pardons in his county including the Schoettle case. He added that he "would prefer a statewide investigation led by either federal law enforcement or a special prosecutor appointed by the Kentucky Attorney General."

    Until that happens, Sanders said he will be conducting his own investigation of the pardons.

    Bevin's final actions in office didn't become public until the Louisville Courier Journal reported on the high volume of pardons. Bevin was narrowly defeated in November by Democrat Andy Beshear.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    he pardoned a bunch of CHILD RAPISTS because their victims hymen’s were intact, then called the victims liars. FUCK this guy.

    They are just going to reoffend. When they do reoffend can the families sue Bevin for negligence? Because that shit is preventable.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/pol...bevin-n1106961

    The FBI is looking into pardons issued by former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, including clemency given to a murderer and a child rapist, according to a report.

    The Louisville Courier Journal, citing two sources familiar with the matter, reported late Monday that an FBI agent had spoken with a Kentucky state representative, Rep. Chris Harris, about a criminal investigation into Bevin's pardons.

    Harris, who had called for an investigation into the ex-governor, told the Courier Journal that he'd been contacted last week by a criminal investigator about Bevin's pardons. Harris refused to comment on which law enforcement agency the investigator was from.

    The lawmaker did not respond to repeated questions from NBC News on Tuesday. The FBI isn't commenting on the matter.

    Bevin, who lost his re-election bid last month, has come under fire in recent weeks for having issued more than 600 pardons and sentence reductions since the Nov. 5 election, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State's office.

    Among Bevin's pardons were ones for a convicted child rapist and a man convicted of killing his parents.

    Bevin pardoned Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted of reckless homicide and other crimes in a fatal 2014 home break-in in Knox County. Prosecutors say Baker and another man posed as police officers to gain entry to Donald Mills' home, and Mills was shot in front of his wife.

    Baker's family raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year for Bevin and Baker's brother and sister-in-law also gave $4,000 to Bevin's re-election campaign on the day of the fundraiser, the Courier Journal reported. Bevin wrote in the pardoning document that Baker's "drug addictions" led him to fall in with the wrong people and the evidence against Baker was "sketchy at best."

    Bevin, who was defeated last month by Democrat Andrew Beshear, also came under fire for pardoning Micah Schoettle, who was sentenced last year to 23 years in prison for rape, sodomy and other sexual crimes, according to Courier-Journal. The victim told police the abuse started when she was nine and lasted until she was 12, the newspaper reported.

    Those particular pardons have led several Kentucky lawmakers to ask the state’s incoming attorney general to investigate the orders.

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    Moderator nestlequikie's Avatar
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    This may be a dumb question but: Can gubernatorial pardons be "undone"?
    I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to. - Donnie Darko

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    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    This may be a dumb question but: Can gubernatorial pardons be "undone"?
    My guess is no. I think they only thing they can do is potentially go after ex-gubner if they can prove he did it in a corrupt way. There might be some other aspect of the crimes the pardoned guys were convicted of that they could go after them for again (like when they add abuse of a corpse to a murder charge or something like that). This whole situation is so corrupt and horrible!

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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...deral-n1178766

    A Kentucky man whose state prison sentence for a 2014 sexual assault was commuted last year by former Gov. Matt Bevin has been arrested on federal child pornography charges, authorities said Tuesday.

    In a statement, federal prosecutors in the Western District of Kentucky said Dayton Jones, 24, faces one charge of producing child sex abuse material. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

    Jones had been serving 15 years for the state charges.

    The crimes alleged Tuesday stem from the same 2014 sexual assault. In an earlier case brought by local prosecutors, Jones pleaded guilty to state charges, including sodomy and the distribution of material depicting sexual performance of a minor.

    Local authorities said Jones and several other people assaulted a 15-year-old boy with a sex toy while he was unconscious at a party in Hopkinsville, in Kentucky's southwest corner. The victim's colon was punctured and his bladder was injured in an assault that was recorded and uploaded to Snapchat, NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville reported.

    Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

    Bevin, a Republican, commuted Jones' sentence in December after he was lobbied by Christian County Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Boling, The Associated Press reported. Boling later apologized for the letter and asked forgiveness for the "embarrassment that I have caused this community," according to the AP.

    Bevin said he commuted Jones' sentence because he believed there was "zero" evidence linking him to the crime except for the "testimony of kids who were getting a better deal by throwing [him] under the bus," the Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville reported.

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