Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Illinois: Life Too Short to Wait on Blago

The Chicago Tribune reports inmates exonerated of wrongdoing have new recourse after enduring long delays for clemency decisions by the Governor Rod Blagojevich (D). A new law allows the exonerated to simply bypass one of the nation's most conspicuously inactive governors and seek "certificates of innocence" directly from circuit courts (the State's trial courts of general jurisdiction).

After the legislation that created the new path was passed in both the State House and Senate, Gov. Blagojevich took an unexpected interest in matters related to clemency and used his veto power. Perhaps he was preserving clemency for use by some future governor? But both chambers responded the Governor's freakishly rare interest in clemency by overriding the veto! Marlon Pendleton has been waiting literally for years for Blagojevich to show any sign of interest in the clemency power and could not be more thrilled that the legislature and judiciary are working around the State's negligent executive. See story here.

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