Matt Bevin on Crime



Overturn voting rights to ex-felons who completed sentences

Several states have turned away from harsh criminal sentences and raised new questions about what happens to offenders once they are released. In Virginia, [an executive order by Gov. Terry McAuliffe re-enfranchised 200,000 felons]. In February, the Maryland State Senate overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and expanded voting rights to 40,000 ex-offenders.

But the policies have been controversial and provoked a partisan divide. Last December, newly elected Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) reversed an executive order by his Democratic predecessor to grant voting rights to ex-felons in the state once they had completed their sentences. Governor Bevin framed his opposition to the executive order signed by then-Gov. Steve Beshear (D) on procedural rather than ideological terms. "While I have been a vocal supporter of the restoration of rights, for example, it is an issue that must be addressed through the legislature and by the will of the people," he said in a statement.

Source: Christian Science Monitor on 2015 Kentucky governor race , Apr 22, 2016

Imperative to address backlog of forensic tests

For too long, the Kentucky state lab has carried a backlog for DNA and other forensic testing due to a shortage of resources. This backlog includes blood alcohol, toxicology, drugs, gunshot residue, arson, fingerprint, DNA, polygraph and other tests whose results can be critical to ensuring justice for survivors of crimes, including rape and sexual assault victims. We must stop talking about this problem and start solving it. Funds will be made immediately available to begin addressing the backlogs of untested rape kits and other types of forensic testing.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Kentucky legislature , Jan 26, 2016

Restore felon voting rights, but only through legislature

Bevin suspended Beshear's Nov. 24 executive order that automatically restored the right to vote to most nonviolent felons who have served out their sentences. "While I have been a vocal supporter of the restoration of rights," Bevin said, "it is an issue that must be addressed through the legislature and by the will of the people."

Bevin's order will not retroactively affect felons who, since Nov. 24, have received a certificate from the state Department of Corrections confirming their restoration of rights. Bevin said felons may continue requesting a restoration of their civil rights from the governor's office, which includes the right to vote, to serve on a jury, to hold elected office and to obtain a professional or vocational license. That was how Beshear handled it "for essentially the entire eight years of his administration," until he changed the process "less than two weeks prior to the expiration of his term," Bevin said.

Source: Lexington Herald Leader on 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial race , Dec 22, 2015

Other candidates on Crime: Matt Bevin on other issues:
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