Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Illinois Governor grants a massive amount of pardons

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn granted pardons to 147 people convicted of low-level crimes in April 2010!  The Governor granted 147 of 407 requested.

People who have been convicted of murder, violent crimes, sex crimes are typically automatically disqualified by both Records Removal Services and the Board of Pardons (sometimes called the Board of Pardons and Parole).

Since Governor Quinn was sworn into office on January 29, 2009, he has decided on 769 Petitions, granting a total of 321 Petitions.

Plus, Governor Quinn has his own pile, making the total pending Petitions to be around 2450, according to a spokesman in the Governor's Communications Office. 

Governor Quinn is using his exclusive power to the benefit of the most deserving people, granting almost 42% of the Petitions thus far:

"Our society brands the felon with a Scarlet Letter for the rest of his or her lifetime. Essentially, once a felon, always a felon. This is wrong. This is not forgiveness. This is not mercy. Yes, people must understand that consequences come with illegal acts. But every person who was convicted of a crime, was sentenced and served a sentence, whether probation or prison. A lifetime punishment is harmful to society as a whole.

Rehabilitation must be encouraged in our society. The kid who gets caught selling dope at 18-years old should not be labeled a "convicted felon" for the rest of his life if he can prove he is a contributing member of society. If he has gone to school, purchased a home, raised a family, why should he continue to be punished?

A pardon gives the deserving person an opportunity to remove the "convicted felon" tattoo. The pardon allows for the deserving person to apply for a better job so that he or she can support his family. Rehabilitation must be rewarded."   - Tamara N. Holder, Illinois Attorney, Legal and Political Commentator 

Tamara N. Holder, Illinois defense and civil rights attorney/legal and political commentator contributed to his article from her commentator blog. 

Pardon power in the State of Illinois is vested in the Governor, who is assisted by recommendations of the Prisoner Review Board.  

With each U.S. state being sovereign however, each state has their own constitution and laws. In the State of Georgia for example, the Governor is prohibited from being involved in pardons and pardon power is vested exclusively in the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole.