House OKs Constitutional Amendment Over Pardoning Power

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Voters in Kentucky would decide whether future governors can pardon people before they're charged with a crime under a proposed constitutional amendment approved by the House today.

State Representative Rob Wilkey, a Democrat from Scottsville, says the issue arose after Republican Governor Fletcher decided to pardon his entire administration, including anyone who might later be charged, once some officials were indicted during a state hiring investigation. The amendment would prevent future governors from granting the same kind of pardon Fletcher did.

The measure passed 71-to-26 with 12 Republican lawmakers voting in favor.

Under the proposal, voters would be asked to change the wording of Kentucky's constitution so that a person would not be eligible for a gubernatorial pardon until first having been charged with or convicted of a crime. That person would then have to ask for and accept the amnesty.

The legislation is House Bill 3.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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