US Attorney could prosecute Bevin pardon recipients

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FILE- In this Oct. 29, 2019, file photo, Republican Matt Bevin looks on during the final Kentucky gubernatorial debate between Bevin, the incumbent, and Democratic candidate Andy Beshear in Highland Heights, Ky. With a few days left in his term as Kentucky’s governor, Republican Matt Bevin offered some unsolicited advice to his successor and political rival, urging Democrat Andy Beshear to confront the toughest tasks facing the state the same way he did. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, Pool, Fil)

(WEHT)- Russell Coleman, the US Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky released a statement saying that if any of the recipients of outgoing Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin’s controversial pardons committed their crimes in his district, “it will be treated like any other violation of federal law.”

However, Coleman mentioned that any prosecution on the federal level would require the “ultimate approval at the highest levels at the Department of Justice.” Primarily, Coleman says he’s concerned with the possibility that previously convicted sex offenders may not have to register as such because of the pardon.

Coleman’s district reaches from the western border of Kentucky to Muhlenberg County and Louisville in the central part of the state. Bevin controversially pardoned or commuted the sentences of over 600 prisoners, including people convicted of violent or sexual offenses. The pardons and commutations have also reportedly drawn the attention of the FBI.

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(This story was originally published on December 31, 2019)

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