Tennessee, Kentucky govs talk up criminal justice reform

Tennessee, Kentucky govs talk up criminal justice reform
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he's "well under way" in evaluating his first clemency plea from a death row inmate, who is slated for execution next month (Source: Pixabay)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he has started evaluating his first clemency plea from a death row inmate, who is slated for execution next month.

Lee joined fellow Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky for a forum on criminal justice reform Wednesday at Belmont University's College of Law.

Don Johnson's execution is scheduled for May 16. Lee said he was "well underway" in making the kind of assessment he has never had to make before. He noted that the power to pardon is profound.

Both governors outlined criminal justice priorities and initiatives in an event co-hosted by Men of Valor and Right on Crime.

Bevin said he plans to create a sentencing integrity unit, saying mistakes just get made in sentencing.

Lee promised to examine sentencing guidelines in Tennessee.