Monday, January 12, 2015

Illinois: The Last of Quinn's Mercy

The Associated Press reports "departing" Gov. Pat Quinn granted 43 clemency petitions "in his final moments as governor" including six commutations of sentence. Quinn is also reported to have granted his second pardon based on innocence.

Quinn commuted the sentences of Tyrone Hood who is serving prison time for killing of I.I.T. basketball player and Anthony Dansberry who was convicted of murder, though through what his attorneys call a "coerced" confession.

Before these last grants, Governing noted:
After inheriting a backlog of more than 2,800 requests that now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich took no action on during his tenure, Quinn has acted on 4,766 clemency petitions, more than any other Illinois governor, according to his administration. 
Quinn has granted 1,752 and denied 3,014 requests, according to his administration. That represents a nearly 37 percent approval rate for the petitions he has considered, which experts say ranks among the highest for any current governor.
As word spread that Quinn was considering clemency requests, the number of petitions increased during his tenure. The governor may act on some of the 2,000 requests still on his desk before he leaves office Monday morning.
He recently told the Tribune he is trying to rectify Blagojevich's indifference toward clemency requests and has spent hours reviewing petitions during his final days.
Today, it was also announced that Quinn denied 119 petitions. Incoming Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will inherit more than 1,800 cases. See more on this story here and here and here.

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