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After Bevin, lawmakers may change pardon power

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Posted at 8:38 AM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 08:38:35-05

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some Kentucky lawmakers are working to change the pardon process in Kentucky.

Wednesday, Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers suggested forming a pardons commission. He said the commission would review cases and also make recommendations to the Governor.

These ideas follow a historic end to former Governor Matt Bevin's term in 2019. During his final days in office, he pardoned hundreds of inmates in Kentucky. Many had non-violent drug offenses whileothers were convicted of more serious crimes.

There have, however, already been two proposals filed. One that would give the right to crime victims to be notified and heard prior to the pardon or commutation of their offender. Another proposal would remove the Governor's pardoning powers during the month before the election through the inauguration.

Stivers said in order to make changes to the current process a constitutional amendment will likely need to be made, suggesting Kentuckians would have the chance to vote on this issue.