(LEX 18/COURIER-JOURNAL) — Former Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned or commuted the sentences of hundreds of Kentucky inmates during his final acts in office. According to the Courier Journal, the family of one man who was pardoned held a political fundraiser for Bevin last year.
Patrick Baker was convicted in 2017 for a Knox County break-in three years earlier, in which Baker shot and killed Donald Mills in his home while Baker was impersonating a police officer. In 2018, LEX 18 spoke with Mills' family about the relief of having Baker pay for the crime.
According to the Courier Journal, members of Baker's family held a political fundraiser for Bevin in the summer of 2018, which raised more than $20,000. The paper said the money from that fundraiser went to pay down the debt from Bevin's first gubernatorial campaign.
According to Baker's pardon, Bevin was not "convinced that the evidence has proven the involvement of Patrick Baker as a murderer." In the pardon, Bevin wrote that "Baker is a man who has made a series of unwise decisions in his adult life," and "the evidence supporting his conviction is sketchy at best."
Others who received pardons from Bevin include Kurt Smith, who at the age of 17 was convicted in Fayette County of killing his six-week-old son in 2002, and Daniel Grubb, who was convicted in Knox County in the 2010 murder of Jeremy Johnson.
Kentucky's Public Advocate Damon Preston told LEX 18's Katherine Collins the Commonwealth continues to have one of the highest rates of incarceration in the country.
You can search through the pardons and commutations on the Secretary of State's website here.