Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, the Republican Christian Nationalist who lost his seat in last month’s election, is taking the sore loser’s way out of office by setting a metaphorical fire to the entire state.
In his case, he issued pardons to hundreds of rapists, murderers, and other criminals who have no business being released back into society.
On the list are a killer whose family hosted a fundraiser for Bevin, another who raped a nine-year-old child, another who murdered his parents, and another who hired a hit man.
There’s good reason for governors to pardon people imprisoned on petty crimes, or for things that shouldn’t be crimes, or when there’s overwhelming evidence that justice wasn’t served. There’s no reason, however, to think that Bevin did any due diligence here. (Reasoned thinking was never his strong suit. Why start now?)
He even tweeted that criminal justice isn’t “an exact science” — as if he suddenly cares about science after years of rejecting it.
At least one of his supporters is balking at the moves:
Rob Sanders, the Kenton County commonwealth’s attorney, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he had backed Bevin but the pardons changed his mind.
“I was somebody who supported him and believed in him and I’m disgusted at myself for having done so,” Sanders said to the Enquirer about Bevin.
Bevin gave no thought to the families of the victims, whose killers will now be back on the streets without having served their time. He didn’t even think about his own government staffers who prosecuted many of these cases. There’s literally no justification for why he pardoned some of the most heinous criminals.
His reasoning boils down to this: I don’t believe the evidence for conviction was sufficient, even though I was not a judge or jury member for these cases. I’m just doing this because I’m bitter and I hate you all..
That’s one way to punish your citizens for not voting for you. It’s also a great way to cement your legacy as one of the worst governors the country has ever seen.
Matt Bevin’s Twitter bio has four words. The first is “Christian.” But no reasonable person is celebrating his pardons as some mass act of forgiveness. His behavior leaving office is as irrational, irresponsible, and thoughtless as his behavior when he was in office.
Meanwhile, the man who defeated Bevin, Democrat Andy Beshear, spent his day yesterday restoring voting rights to 140,000 ex-felons who had done their time. That’s justice. That’s fair. That’s something Bevin refuses to understand.