That information is a public record and it is available for public inspection. It's kept in a cardboard documents box in the 10th floor office of the secretary of state's office in Madison along with a hand-written index. Copies are available but by law, the agency charges $2 for each one-page pardon document, about 10 times the cost of copies in most other state agencies.Michael Hayes, a Milwaukee attorney, agrees that putting the information online is a "great idea," but reminds clients that "The odds of getting a pardon are pretty slim." For example, in 2006, 88 people applied and only 12 received a pardon. In 2007, 86 people applied and 16 received a pardon.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Here is a nifty little report on clemency in the State of Wisconsin. It says that, since 1987, more than 300 people have received pardons from the governor, with most of the offenses being drug-related and the average pardon appearing 20 years after the crime. One individual describes the State's clemency process as something like, "being a chicken breast, being flipped over on high flame." Bill Lueders of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council argues that pardon records should be online. How do you get to such information?