A new report by the state government of Kentucky reveals that an overwhelming majority of the criminals released early by Governor Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) went on to commit more crimes after their release.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the report by Kentucky’s Department of Information and Technology Services Research and Statistics analyzed the criminal records of around 1,700 criminals who were released early by executive commutation in April and August of 2020; Beshear justified his actions at the time by saying that he needed to keep the prison population low during the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.
Of the 1,700 Beshear had released, at least 70% committed new crimes, with 50% of them committing felonies in less than one year after their release.
“I believe the last round of commutations was fairly successful at getting people back in society and making sure they are healthy, and we are looking for the same here,” Beshear said in August of 2020. “I wish each of those individuals a better life moving forward, one that is constructive, one that they can find purpose in, whether that be faith, family or a good job. Let’s help make sure we can work with these individuals and give second chances.”
But as a result of Beshear’s actions, crime surged in Kentucky in 2021 and remained higher than pre-pandemic levels until 2023. Crime peaked in the state in April 2021, reaching levels higher than the previously-reported record high of 36%.
Of the released prisoners who committed felonies, most of them were charged with crimes related to either drugs or property. Those who committed misdemeanors were mostly charged with crimes related to automobiles.
Even after the rise in crime was confirmed by multiple reports, Beshear doubled down on his actions, claiming that he had made “reasonable decisions,” and calling for a re-examination of the 2021 report.
Beshear is running for re-election in November of 2023. His opponent in the general election is Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R-Ky.).