December 22, 2019

For Governors, Power to Pardon Carries Political Risks
When a radio host asked Matt Bevin, the former governor of Kentucky, why he had pardoned a man convicted of raping a child, Bevin's first response was, "Which one?""Because there were a couple of people that were accused of that whose sentences I commuted," he said.Bevin, a Republican, had already been criticized for issuing more than 600 pardons and sentence reductions just before he left office Dec. 10, including to men who were convicted of murder and rape, and one whose family had supported his campaign.But the firestorm grew worse the more Bevin spoke, as he sought to justify his actions. He claimed that a young girl could not have been raped by a man he freed because her hymen was intact -- an assertion experts rejected as proof of the man's innocence.While the pardons issued by Bevin may be as unique as his brash governing style, he is far from the first governor to face a backlash over pardons. They can be politically risky and are issued often as governors are on their way out the door, either at the end of their political term or after an election loss.Mark Osler, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, said he worried that what he viewed as several poor decisions by Bevin would overshadow the benefits that pardons can have on prisoners and society."I think it's important to call Bevin out on the bad choices he made, but I think it's important to recognize that he made hundreds of good choices, too," said Osler, who describes himself as an advocate for clemency."The way we misuse clemency the most is by not using it," he added.Here are other instances when pardons have prompted protests:-- Haley Barbour, Mississippi: Governor's Mansion WorkersOn his last day as governor in 2012, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi issued pardons to four men who had been convicted of murder and sent to work at his mansion through a prison program. The pardons, which were among 193 granted by Barbour that day, elicited outrage and claims that the governor had unfairly evaluated the cases of the four men, all of whom were serving life sentences. Some called for the governor's clemency powers to be subjected to additional oversight.The furor over the pardons lasted for months, as did a court challenge from the state's attorney general.Barbour, a Republican, had issued 10 times as many pardons as his four predecessors combined. But none drew headlines like those he gave to the men who worked at his mansion while they were incarcerated.Ultimately, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that it could not interfere with Barbour's pardoning authority, and the pardons were upheld.Among the 203 full pardons Barbour issued over two terms, many went to people who had already completed their sentences. More than a dozen were issued to people convicted of murder, and Barbour also pardoned Brett Favre's brother, who had killed a friend in a drunken-driving crash. Like in Bevin's case, some victims' families complained that they had not been consulted beforehand.-- Jerry Brown, California: Halting DeportationsJerry Brown, a Democratic former governor of California, drew President Donald Trump's ire last year by pardoning five immigrants who had been convicted of various crimes and were set to be deported."Is this really what the great people of California want?" Trump asked on Twitter at the time.Brown granted more than 1,000 pardons between 2011 and 2019, but several commutations were halted last year by the California Supreme Court in what amounted to a rare rebuke of executive power. While the justices did not explain their decisions, they were widely interpreted as a determination that Brown had abused his power.One of the pardons the court blocked was for Borey Ai, a Cambodian refugee who had been convicted of murder in 1997 for killing a woman when he was 14, The Associated Press reported. He was released after 19 years, but was facing deportation when Brown tried to pardon him, effectively stopping his pending deportation.The court's ruling in December 2018, blocking the pardon, kept him subject to deportation. In November of this year, Ai said at a rally that he had been detained by immigration authorities for 18 months after he was released from prison and that he could be deported at any time, AP reported.-- Mike Huckabee, Arkansas: police Killings After PardonThe political peril of pardons burst into full view in 2009 when a man pardoned by Mike Huckabee, a Republican former governor of Arkansas, walked into a coffee shop near Tacoma, Washington, and fatally shot four police officers.The man, Maurice Clemmons, was later shot and killed by a police officer after a manhunt. But the case was used to criticize Huckabee, who was then a Fox News contributor and would later run for president. As governor, he issued three times as many pardons and commutations as the three preceding governors combined.Clemmons had been convicted of burglary and robbery and was not eligible for parole until 2021 when Huckabee commuted his sentence, allowing him to get out of prison on parole. But there were factors besides Huckabee's commutation that led to outrage over Clemmons' crime. Clemmons was given parole after violating it once, and when he killed the four officers, he had pending felony charges for assaulting police officers and raping a child.-- Paul LePage, Maine: Secret Pardon ListIn Maine, former Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, pardoned 112 people in eight years but both the number and names of people pardoned were kept hidden until The Associated Press obtained them using a freedom of information law.Among those on the pardon list: the grandson of LePage's mentor and a former Republican state lawmaker.Jeff Pierce, the former lawmaker, was convicted of felony drug trafficking in 1983 and later admitted to illegally hunting with firearms, according to Maine Public Radio. Among those pardoned by LePage were a woman convicted of embezzling thousands of dollars from a county sheriff's department and the grandson of a man who sheltered LePage when he ran away from home as a child, AP reported. That man had been convicted of operating under the influence and driving with a suspended or revoked license.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Kylie & Travis Back On?, Demi Sees UFO & Bey's New Drop of Drip
October 20, 2020
l503o49dCDQ
Ryan Dorsey Shares 1st Photo of Son Since Ex Naya Rivera's Death
October 19, 2020
CFNqKNTZ8wQ
Billie Eilish's Sneakers Have Divided the Internet | E! News
October 19, 2020
VUlj38hk2gI
Ashley Graham receives praise after nude mirror selfie | Page Six Celebrity News
October 19, 2020
Dt1YvT5VP-Y
Kanye West: ‘SNL’ used Issa Rae ‘to hold other black people back’ | Page Six Celebrity News
October 19, 2020
U3jUm5rdS6c
Inside Kelly Dodd's wedding and Braunwyn's big bombshell reveal? | Page Six Celebrity News
October 16, 2020
oNjq8OU4uco
Michael Blackson's Bummed 'Coming To America 2' Won't Be In Theaters | TMZ
October 18, 2020
mhKYL26vuD4
Prepared Patriotic Voter Says Her Viral TikTok was Hot Tip for Seniors | TMZ
October 17, 2020
Nx8Ck2I1-JY
Shakira Puts On A Wetsuit And Surfs It Up! | TMZ TV
October 16, 2020
UwBVladoa24
What To Expect from Q3 Media Earnings
October 20, 2020
7vExBnxdx9M
Noah Jupe Talks Working With Steven Soderbergh During the Pandemic and 'The Undoing'
October 20, 2020
KDbPm3AqR1A
How Emma Corrin Found Princess Diana's Voice in 'The Crown' Season 4
October 20, 2020
AR7sTFge7Nc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Birmingham
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Swansea City
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Rotherham
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Luton
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Derby County
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Reading - Wycombe Wanderers
20
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Middlesbrough
18
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Benevento
18
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Arsenal
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - AC Milan
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Bayern Munich
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Hoffenheim - Borussia Dortmund
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Southampton
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Manchester United
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Barcelona
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - Juventus
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Cadiz
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Atletico Madrid
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Atalanta
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Liverpool
15
Oct
GERMANY: National cup
Duren Merzenich - Bayern Munich
13
Oct
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Switzerland
10
Oct
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Ukraine - Germany
04
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Tottenham Hotspur
04
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Sheffield United
04
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
04
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Hertha Berlin
04
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Sevilla
04
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Spezia
04
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Inter Milan
04
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Real Madrid
03
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Roma
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.