Saturday, January 8, 2011

Iowa: Culver's Mercy

Gov. Chet Culver's one term as governor is coming to an end and the clemency applications are starting to come in. To date, he has granted 89 pardons (of 221 applicants), but has not approved of a single commutations of sentence. He has, however, restored the rights of 263 people (some whose applications were left on the desk by his predecessor) and approved of 92 applications for restoration of firearms rights (of 242 applications). Culver claims he is just "going through the same review process that all governors go through.” It appears that "process" keeps applicants waiting "about two years."

The Sioux City Journal reports two-term Democrat Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) commuted only 6 sentences from 1999 to 2007. Four-term Governor Terry Branstad (R) commuted only 2 from 1983 to 1999. Gov. Robert Ray (R) commuted 27 sentences from 1969 and 1983. See article here.

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