Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Kentucky: Beshear Let Battered Women Rot in Prison?

It is reported that, among the last-minute clemency grants of Governor Beshear, 10 went to women "who suffered domestic violence." See our post on this important topic from 2008. The Governor says they were "recommended" for consideration "after an extensive joint review by the Department for Public Advocacy and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association." To which we say, "Bravo!" But ...

This is what we know of these women: Among those who received commutations of sentence, 2 are currently on parole, 5 are currently incarcerated. Of those who received pardons, 3 have completed their sentences.

Our question is this: Did Beshear finally decide that the five battered women who were in prison deserved commutations of sentence in his last hours in office? Because that is when he granted their commutations.

If Beshear made this determination beforehand ... when was it? How long did the abused women remain in prison, after he concluded that they deserved clemency? Months? Years?

If the support of the Department for Public Advocacy and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association was formalized near the end of Beshear's term, did the women apply previously, on their own? We were unable to contact anyone at the later organization who was willing to talk.

Beshear received well over 3,000 clemency applications across 8 years, but did not grant a single act of clemency until, literally, hours before he left office.

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