Kentucky Governor. Matt Bevin is the state’s top Republican is scheduled to step down from his post in the coming month, which makes him one of governors who are the least popular across the country..
A few of his last actions prior to his replacement by Democrat Andy Beshear was to pardon Paul Donel Hurt, who was found guilty of attacking his daughter, who was just six year old.
In his announcement of his pardon on the prior Friday, Bevin said, “It appears to me and many others, including Judge who sentenced him it appears that Paul Donel Hurt has been wrongly sentenced and imprisoned for more than 20 years. “
The pardon is due to the fact that in 2015, the stepdaughter of Hurt whom the name of which was not revealed she retracted her claim. However, certain judges were unable to revoke Hurt’s convictions according to the Louisville Courier-Journal reported partly because of the part played by Jefferson Circuit Judge Stephen Mershon in the recantation. Mershon was the judge who handed down Hurt’s initial sentence in 2001. He then began contacting Hurt and approached Hurt’s stepdaughter.
In 2016, a judge said the judge had stated that Mershon was the person that “altered” the stepdaughter’s memory and used “judicial coercion and intimidation” to convince her to alter her mind. Following Hurt’s pardon in the year 2016, Mershon was the one to free him from prison.
In granting the pardon for Hurt, Bevin wrote that, “In light of all that is known, and the fact that everything will remain undiscovered It isn’t like justice could be served in this particular case. ” When the pardon granted to Hurt, Bevin may have been voicing his opinion to those who have advised people not to speak up because of the risk of destroying the lives of victims.
Hurt’s stepdaughter has backed down from her accusations. But, judges have concerns about this.
The year 2000 was the year that Hurt’s daughter admitted to her mother’s stepdaughter that Hurt was assaulting her sexually for months according to court papers. In 2001 Hurt was found guilty of three counts of sexual sodomy as well as two counts of sexual assault as reported by The Courier-Journal. The sentence was life in prison.
After Hurt’s conviction , The Courier Journal’s Joe Sonka reported, Mershon was still fascinated by this trial. He began contact with Hurt during his confinement and also attempted to reach Hurt’s Stepdaughter. After hearing about Mershon her stepdaughter She was allowed to retract her testimony during an appeal in the year 2015.
However, in 2016, Jefferson Circuit Judge Audra Jean Eckerle refused to overturn the verdict on the grounds that she previously had said that prior to the recantation, her stepdaughter “steadfastly kept her story going for fifteen years. ” But, her revised narrative of events was inconsistent and inconsistent, Eckerle wrote.
The defense “is no more likely to be true than false, given her clear feelings of guilt about losing family relations and concerning the lengthy incarceration of someone who has been close to her,” the judge declared. “It was caused by the unusual case of the previously acting judge coming up to her both directly and in private. Even with his involvement it took a long time for the victim to acknowledge that Hurt did not have the intent to commit the offenses, as opposed to her earlier statements of her forgiveness for his alleged abusing. “
In the year of 2018 the appeals court affirmed its decision made by Eckerle.
on Thursday Bevin took the decision to forgive Hurt. Following receiving the pardon, Mershon removed Hurt from the prison in which the man was held and brought Hurt to his home with Hurt’s mom. In the aftermath of the pardon, Hurt’s conviction has been wiped away.
“I believe an innocent man is now free,” Mershon was interviewed by The Courier Journal. He said the truth is that “this guy could have been playing me, that he was the best con artist in the world,” However, he stated that He believes that Hurt is innocent. Hurt.
Judges were worried that Hurt’s stepdaughter felt guilt for her decision to not report the event which is the typical response
Bevin was the first candidate to reelection in the year 2000, and caused a lot of anger in the community by the reduction of Medicaid and pensions for teachers. Bevin also did several controversial remarks about the issue.
In the course of Teachers’ Strike of the year 2018 in protest against pension cuts and other budget cuts Bevin stated that children could be sexually assaulted due to the strike, as Zack Budryk wrote for The Hill.
“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin said. He apologized afterward for his remarks.
Hurt’s pardon was only one of the 16 pardons given by the governor who is stepping down on Friday. The pardon also went to one person who was sentenced to death in 2015 following incident. Prior to this, Bevin was also able to pardon people who were found guilty of drug-related offenses.
But, the pardon given to Hurt is unique because of the fact that Mershon was involved in her step-daughter’s recantation to the public.
If Eckerle is right, she may be under pressure to get her stepfather’s release of prison. There are also other pressures, that are more general in nature, which could have influenced her decision. Sexual assault victims usually are afflicted by guilt over their own abuse and the fear of being in trouble can deter them from submitting a report. This is among the reasons that a lot of teenagers do not report an assault on their sexual partner, Heather Hlavka, a professor of sociology and criminology explained to Slate this year.
It is true that no one other than the stepdaughter aware of her mind when she made her decision to retract her apology in 2015. However, when she accepts her pardon, Bevin will be supporting judges who have serious concerns concerning the case. She will also be siding with many social factors that make victims feel guilty when they are victimized and more resentful when they choose to report the violence.