Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2015 12:23 AM By Jack Brammer Lexington Herald Leader
LEXINGTON – In his final hours as governor, Steve Beshear Monday night granted 201 pardons and six commutations to people sentenced for a range of offenses, including 10 women sentenced for violent crimes they committed after suffering years of domestic violence.
Throughout his eight years in office, the Democratic governor said he received more than 3,400 requests for pardons that were reviewed over several months by him and his staff.
"I spent many long days weighing the merits and circumstances of individual cases before making my final decisions," Beshear said in a statement. "The pardon authority afforded me by Section 77 of the Kentucky Constitution isn’t something I take lightly. We are talking about action that impacts the lives of so many individuals."
Beshear noted that his predecessor, Republican Ernie Fletcher, received more than 1,000 pardon requests and granted just over 100 pardons during his four years in office.
Of the 10 women, two are on parole and had their sentences commuted to time served. They are Barbara S. Sarabia, of Versailles, and Pearlie Sue Gambrel, of Flatlick.
Four of the women are currently incarcerated and also had their sentences commuted to time served. They are Donna Wheeler, Laurie Andrade and Judy Lee, all at Western Kentucky Correctional Complex, and Stacey Wigginton, at Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women.
Three of the women had completed their sentences and were granted pardons. They are Teresa Vincent, of Campbellsburg, Gabrielle Cecil, of Louisville, and Tamara E. Wilson, of Somerset.
Cheryl McCafferty of Fredonia, who is currently incarcerated at Western Kentucky Correctional Complex, received a pardon.
Beshear, a former attorney general, also pardoned several individuals convicted of drug offenses.