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Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says 'no regrets' for pardons of convicted murderer, child rapist

Posted at 5:58 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 07:58:07-05

Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has received a lot of scrutiny since pardoning over 400 people during his final days in office.

On his list of pardons were several people convicted of violent crimes.

On Thursday, during a guest radio appearance on a local talk radio show in Louisville, Bevin finally addressed the controversial pardons.

Bevin said he regretted none of his pardons and insisted that he carefully analyzed every case, suggesting future governors do the same.

Among Bevin's most controversial pardons was that of Patrick Baker, who was convicted of murder in 2014. Baker's brother and sister-in-law reportedly hosted a fundraiser for Bevin in 2018.

Bevin insisted Thursday he pardoned Baker because he believes he is innocent.

"The facts should matter, and we deserve justice every time there has been a wrong done, not only for the victims but society as whole," he said. "But the only thing more unjust than not punishing a perpetrator is punishing an innocent person for something they did not do."

Bevin also defended pardoning Micah Schoettle, who was accused of raping a girl for years, beginning when she was 9.

Bevin called child rapists "the scum of the earth," but claims there was no evidence that Schoettle was guilty.

"If you have been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically. There was zero evidence of that," Bevin said. "This man was convicted purely on something that there's no corroboration for."

Bevin said he believes every state should have a sentencing integrity unit to ensure innocent people don't go to jail. He said he has suggested that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear institute such a unit.

This story was originally published by Eleanor Buckley on WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.