Federal Charges Will Be Considered Against State Convicts Pardoned by Bevin

Jan 2, 2020

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky Russell Coleman says, if warranted, his office is willing to bring federal charges against state convicts pardoned by former Gov. Matt Bevin.
Credit U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky

A federal prosecutor in Kentucky says, if warranted, his office is prepared to prosecute those convicted in state court who received pardons from former Governor Matt Bevin.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman says if the crimes took place in the Western District of Kentucky, they will be treated like any other violation of federal law.  Once the findings of the investigation are presented to his office, Coleman says he’ll consider the statute of limitations, double jeopardy, and evidentiary requirements to determine whether the cases meet federal standards for prosecution. 

“The uniqueness of a situation of federal prosecution following a state executive pardon will, however, require ultimate approval by the highest levels at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.," Coleman said in a statement.

Former Governor Matt Bevin issued more than 600 pardons in his final days in office to convicted murders and child rapists, among other offenders.  Coleman says he’s particularly concerned about the risk to the public by those previously convicted of sex offenses who, because of the pardon, will not be subject to any post-release supervision or be required to register as sex offenders.

Kentucky's new Republican Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, has formally asked the FBI to investigate Bevin's pardons.