That could explain why Friday’s official announcement didn’t go from Quinn’s office until almost 4 p.m., on a Friday–Good Friday, no less. Releasing potentially embarrassing information is often done at times that are least likely to get media attention.Kevin McDermott of the Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau agrees noting:
It’s a tried-and-true political tradition of releasing potentially embarrassing information at times that are least likely to get attention. The hope is that the public is gearing up for the weekend and not watching the news, and than a lot of political reporters will have gone home early and missed the press releases altogether. (Luckily, some of us don’t have lives.)Of course, another way to look at it is that Quinn is doing the Throwback Governor routine. Indeed, there was a time when Governor's exercised clemency on a more regular basis and were especially expected to do so around Christmas and Easter. Wardens and other prison officials Nation-wide recognized this and sent their own recommendations in around those times of year accordingly. Evidently, no one filed Establishment Clause complaints as they left prison and/or had their records cleared!
According to the Governor's office, the petitions acted upon by Governor Quinn were part of the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 dockets. Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal background check through the Illinois State Police’s Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).
Since taking office, Governor Quinn has acted on 769 clemency petitions. He has granted 321 pardons, authorized 8 persons who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions, and denied 440 petitions. The Associated Press reports that there are still about 2,450 petitions awaiting action. About 1,800 of those are left over from the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Dispatch story here. See AP story here.