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‘Shame on you, Governor Bevin’

One of the main topics of discussions right now is how could former Gov. Matt Bevin, during his final days in office, pardon people who were convicted of horrific murders?

We, like countless others across the state, especially the victims’ families, would love to know the answer.

Few of these pardons make any sense to us. One local pardon that makes absolutely no sense was the pardon of Michael “Drew” Hardy, who was convicted of murder, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and multiple counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in the 2014 death of Jeremy Pryor, 32, in a vehicle crash in Bowling Green.

Hardy was 20 at the time and had served a bit more than three years of a 20-year sentence when he was granted the pardon by Bevin. This was a total slap on the wrist by Bevin and sends a horrible message to others who have committed similar criminal acts that if they do the same thing Hardy did they might get pardoned as well. It’s worth mentioning that when Hardy was arrested after he killed Pryor, he was two times over the legal limit of alcohol consumption. Hardy chose to get behind the wheel highly impaired that evening and in doing so took the life of an innocent man who was on his way home after delivering food as part of his job.

Where’s the justice with this pardon for the Pryor family, who lost their loved one at the hands of a murderer and will never see him again?

No justice at all, in our view. We feel deeply sorry for the Pryor family not only for their loss, but for the pain this pardon generated. It was a slap in their face, especially right before Christmas, to know that this convicted murderer will be walking the streets free while their loved one is gone forever.

Shame on you, Gov. Bevin.

There were other pardons by our former governor that make absolutely no sense as well and add insult to injury to the victims’ families.

One of them included in Bevin’s list of more than 400 pardons was Micah Schoettle, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison after raping a 9-year-old child. Bevin’s pardon of Patrick Brian Baker, convicted of homicide during a 2014 home invasion, has drawn criticism as being a potential political favor. Baker’s family held a fundraiser for Bevin that raised $21,500 to benefit Bevin.

This is a rather large amount of money that was given to Bevin. Was it pay for play? We hope not, but we do know some lawmakers seek an investigation into whether there was or not.

Bevin also pardoned Delmar Partin, who was convicted of murdering his former lover and stuffing her headless body into a 55-gallon drum at a chemical plant in Barbourville in 1993. Bevin cited the “inability or unwillingness of the state to use existing DNA evidence to either affirm or disprove this conviction” in his pardon order.

Bevin also commuted the death sentence of Greg Wilson, who was convicted in 1987 of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Deborah Pooley in Covington. Her body was dumped in Indiana and not found for two weeks. Bevin also pardoned a woman who was convicted of throwing her newborn baby in a dumpster to be left for dead.

There is simply no reason or logic behind these pardons. Again, why would Bevin pardon these convicted criminals who committed these horrible acts?

Republicans and Democrats in the state and across the country are outraged as well. Bevin shouldn’t have rewarded criminals who raped and murdered innocent people with his pardons.

By doing so, he sadly reopened the wounds of victims’ families, most of whom are still trying to cope with the loss of their loved ones.

It was a very sad and unfortunate move by our former governor.

— The Bowling Green Daily News

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