Freshly elected and inaugurated, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the FBI to investigate the pardons former Gov. Matt Bevin did on his way out of office.
According to reports on the list of 650 names, the pardoned people include those guilty of low-level drug crimes, but Bevin also freed a child rapist because evidence showed her hymen was intact. There was outrage among women and child advocates who proclaimed that sexual molestation of a child doesn't always have to mean vaginal penetration.
George Nichols, the former Kentucky chief medical examiner, told the Courier-Journal: “Rape is not proved by hymen penetration. He not only doesn’t know the law, in my humble opinion, he clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.”
In another pardon, Bevin set free Patrick Baker, who served just two years of his 19-year sentence for "reckless homicide and robbery." He was convicted of slaying a Knox County man in front of his family, the Courier-Journal reported.
Questions arose about Baker because his brother hosted a fundraiser for the Bevin campaign. Baker's brother and sister-in-law gave Bevin $4,000 during the event.
"Kentuckians deserve to know if the pardon of Patrick Baker, whose family raised tens of thousands of dollars for Gov. Bevin in 2018, was granted improperly," said Democrats Rep. Chris Harris and Sen. Morgan McGarvey in a joint statement. "We believe strongly that this and potentially other pardons should be investigated impartially, and are pleased that the attorney general agrees and has asked the FBI to make sure that happens."
Harris and McGarvey were the two Democrats who urged the attorney general to investigate the pardons.
"I stand by the outstanding work of Kentucky's prosecutors and respect the decisions of juries who convict wrongdoers," Cameron said in a letter to state legislators.
"While Kentucky's Constitution gives the governor the power to pardon a person convicted of a crime, I believe the pardon power should be used sparingly and only after great deliberation with due concern for public safety," Cameron wrote.