Saturday, December 14, 2019

Matt Bevin: Libertarian Hero?

Matt Bevin
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's term in office is just about over and he is going out with class.

Bevin, whose brother is a regular Target Liberty reader, has, as he leaves office, commuted the sentences of hundreds of low-level drug offenders. reports:
Former Gov. Matt Bevin flexed his executive power as he left office Monday, granting conditional commutations of sentences for more than 300 Kentuckians who were in prison for possession of a controlled substance.

Those commutations made up a significant portion of the hundreds of pardons and commutations Bevin signed during his final days in office...

On Monday, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet gave Bevin a list of 336 people it said were in jail only for possession of a controlled substance. A letter to Bevin signed by Kathleen Kenney, who was interim director of the Department of Corrections, says the inmates were screened for several risk factors, including “pending detainers, pending felony charges, recent violations of community supervision, prior escapes and a history of violent behavior.”..

The justice cabinet then attached a proposed Executive Order, which Bevin used to commute the remaining sentences of all 336 inmates. The only condition was that they not commit another felony offense...

Bevin also signed conditional commutations of sentences for at least 56 other inmates last Friday. None of the commutations specified what crimes the individuals had committed, only that the people had been recommended for commutation by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and had been “screened and determined to present the lowest risk to public safety.”

Some of this may have to do with overcrowding in the Kentucky prison system but I would like to think he was swayed a bit by his brother.

One question is: Why not free the prisoners who previously attempted to escape?  After all, this is nothing but attempting a libertarian jump on the process. And what about "high-level" drug offenders? This just means that they have a better entrepreneurial bent.



  1. He also pardoned a murderer who beheaded a mother of 3 and stuffed her body in a 55-gallon drum:

  2. Bevin also pardoned a convicted child rapist. Bevin said the case was based on testimonial evidence and that he didn't believe the accuser. One man judge and jury. I'm no longer a fan of Bevin but would love to hear if there's more to this story.