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Gov. Bevin pardons people in final acts as governor

Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 09, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Matt Bevin has chosen to pardon some inmates for their crimes in some of his last acts as governor. It's an act that the commonwealth's public advocate said is an important part of the criminal justice system.

A tweet from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes included a photo of a sentence commutation for Irvin Edge, a man convicted of murder in Warren County in 1993.

With this order, Bevin has changed Edge's sentence to time served, which means he'll be released.

"Either a sentence is unjust, it's unreasonable, or it's against public policy; those are where the governor should act," Public Advocate Damon Preston told LEX 18's Katherine Collins.

Preston said that the governor's executive power to pardon people convicted of crimes or commute sentences is an integral part of the justice system.

"I'm convinced Governor Bevin is not wanting to harm victims or prosecution or undermine the system," he said.

Bevin has chosen to grant the pardon as he prepares to leave office. On Thursday and Friday, he pardoned 49 people, including some convicted of drug trafficking, who Bevin wrote had paid their debt to society.

"I hope Governor Bevin takes advantage of that and looks for injustice, or unreasonable sentences, or areas where the law is not being applied in a way that meets public policy, and he uses his executive power to fix that," Preston said.

All filings related to the governor's final acts will be posted to the Secretary of State website.