WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lindsay Horseman could be called an expert at second chances.
In her job as an alternative sentencing worker with the Department of Public Advocacy, she works to give people a chance to go into treatment instead of behind bars, she said.
And in her own experiences, she took full advantage of the chances she was given, although it took time.
"It took me a while to get it right," Horseman said.
Today, she's been in recovery from addiction for nearly ten years, she said.
In that time she's earned a master's degree, bought a house and got married. But, she said, her criminal record had at times served as a barrier to those things.
There were a few charges that couldn't be expunged, she said. Trafficking a controlled substance and two theft charges. So Horseman applied for a pardon.
She was at work when she learned that it had been granted by former Gov. Matt Bevin.
"It was really hard for me in that moment to try to control my emotions and not immediately start crying in the middle of the court."
In Bevin's final days in office, he pardoned or commuted the sentences of hundreds of Kentuckians.
But former Bevin insisted that the vast majority of pardons had been given to people who were out of prison and had paid their debt to society.
Horseman said the focus on those controversial pardons can be frustrating.
"When those few pardons that were unpopular are all of the headlines that you see and then everyone else's kind of gets lumped into that, then they're all looked at the same," Horseman said.
But, she said she remains grateful for this chance to continue to push to reach her goals without the charges on her record.
"I'm not the same person sitting here talking to you right now that I was ten years ago walking through the door of that jail," Horseman said.
It's bittersweet though, she said. Her husband, Cody Angel, also applied for a pardon that wasn't granted.
He was charged with wanton endangerment about 10 years ago, but is also in recovery from addiction and now has full custody of his two daughters, he said. He's going to school to do work similar to Horseman's job.
"I've never been prouder and more happy for a person ever. There's no one more deserving," Angel said of his wife.
He remains hopeful he will receive a pardon in the future.
The couple continue to give others a chance to recover from addiction. As many chances as it takes, Horseman said.
"There has to be some understanding that it may not be the first time, that it may take multiple attempts at treatment before someone achieves long-term recovery," she said, "and you just
can't give up."