Wednesday, April 9, 2008
According to the secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, the number of pardon, or clemency, requests in the State has skyrocketed since September 11 because of an increasing number of background checks uncovering crimes committed long ago, most of which were petty crimes. The secretary also notes, “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see a new occupation where someone can’t get a job” because of their criminal record and some applications are processed over a period of three years. Pennsylvania's five-member pardon board, which meets monthly, is the only place to go to ask for mercy under state law and an expungement (or erasure) of a criminal record can only be obtained after pardon. District attorneys and those affected by the crime are asked to weigh in on pardon requests, but there are three pieces of legislation pending that would persons with minor criminal offenses to get their record expunged without a pardon. The above-mentioned secretary notes, “The board is just so far behind. It needs to be done.” See full story here.