Kentucky lawmaker wants to restrict governor’s pardoning powers

Gov. Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Former governor Matt Bevin spent his final days in office commuting the sentences of several people convicted of heinous crimes, which has sparked statewide outrage.

Senator Chris McDaniel, a Republican from Kenton County, says reform is needed to limit a governor’s power to commute sentences at the end of their term.

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He is introducing a constitutional amendment that will eliminate those powers for the month leading up to an election, and for the time between an election and a swearing in of a new governor

“If a governor wants to use the power to commute and pardon, he should be willing to stand in front of the voters and be held accountable for those actions,” McDaniel said.

One of the Bevin pardon cases getting attention involves Delmar Partin. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Partin was charged for the murder of Betty Carnes who was found with her head chopped off and put in a barrel.

The newspaper say Partin was convicted of killing her at a factory where they both worked in 1994.

According the the newspaper, the prosecutor of the case, Tom Hardy, was very upset about the commuted sentence.

“I think it’s arrogance of one who has a God-like image of himself,” Handy said. “And a lack of concern for anybody else.”

The newspaper reports Bevin’s former chief of staff, Blake Brickman, did not respond when asked if either he or Bevin would comment on the pardons.