NewsCovering Kentucky


Ex-Gov. Bevin says 'no regrets' for pardons of murderer, child rapist

Election 2019 Kentucky Governor
Posted at 6:46 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 07:30:20-05

(LEX 18) — Former Gov. Matt Bevin has received a lot of scrutiny since pardoning over 400 people during his final days in office.

On his list of pardons were several people convicted of violent crimes.

On Thursday during a guest radio appearance on the Terry Meiner Show on WHAS, Bevin finally addressed these controversial pardons.

Bevin said he regrets none of his pardons and insisted that he carefully analyzed every case, suggesting future governors do the same.

Some of the pardons he has especially taken heat for are those who were convicted of violent crimes, like Patrick Baker.

Baker was convicted of murder in 2014. Baker's brother and sister-in-law reportedly hosted a fundraiser for Bevin in 2018. But Bevin insisted Thursday he pardoned Baker because he believes he is innocent.

"The facts should matter, and we deserve justice every time there has been a wrong done, not only for the victims but society as whole," he said. "But the only thing more unjust than not punishing a perpetrator is punishing an innocent person for something they did not do."

Bevin also defended pardoning Micah Schoettle, who was accused of raping a girl for years, beginning when she was 9.

Bevin called child rapists "the scum of the earth," but went on to say there was no real evidence that Schoettle was guilty.

"If you have been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically. There was zero evidence of that. This man was convicted purely on something that there's no corroboration for," Bevin insisted

Bevin said he believes every state should have a sentencing integrity unit to ensure innocent people don't go to jail. He said he has suggested this to Gov. Andy Beshear but could not him to agree on the idea.