Saturday, July 7, 2012

Illinois: Kudos to Quinn

The Cambridge Chronicle is featuring an article which summarizes the manner in which Illinois Governor Patt Quinn has "pared down a backlog of clemency petitions left by his predecessor, Gov. Rod Blagojevich." The Chronicle notes Quinn's effort has earned "plaudits from some in the legal community" (and we include this blog). In January 2009, Quinn was looking at about 2,500 clemency petitions. And he has has acted on 1,900 of them
... The process of clearing the record of a convicted felon can be lengthy . The Prisoner Review Board reviews hundreds of petitions a y ear and makes recommendations in each before referring them to the governor. The governor's legal staff then conducts its own review before Quinn makes a decision.
In contrast, Blagojevich "granted roughly around 70 and denied a few hundred." The rest of the many petitions "just sat there.” The board sends the governor "about 800 petitions a year," but, when it is ready to act on a Blagojevich-era petition, the three members of the Prisoner Review Board's clemency unit "must do more research, particularly checking to see if the petitioner has committed a crime since he or she first applied."A member of that Boar also notes:
“There are legitimate issues that people needed a pardon in order to do a number of different things: go to school, adopt children, get a job, get licensing. They may want to enlist in the Army , or they may want to become a fireman ... as opposed to, 'I just don't want this on my record anymore,'"
See full story here.

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