Governor’s move restores rights to those who proved they’ve turned their lives around and made it stick.
With an additional nine pardons granted this week, Gov. Tony Evers has now pardoned 74 individuals, allowing them to further the progress they’ve made in their lives since being incarcerated for long-ago crimes.
“I issued my first pardons one year ago,” the governor said in a release, “and since, we have seen the positive impacts pardons have not just on individuals, but on all of our communities, as folks who have received pardons have pursued new careers and opportunities to serve their neighbors.”
Evers received the recommendations from the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board which heard from the applicants virtually last month.
A pardon is not an expungement of their record, but an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. Pardon applicants must have completed their sentences at least five years ago and not committed any new crimes. People required to be on the sex offender registry are not eligible.
Among the nine individuals receiving pardons most recently is a 74-year-old woman who received extra public assistance in her early 30s when she did not report income for a year. Since then, she has obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, volunteers with various non-profit and charitable organizations, and previously operated an adult family home.
Another recipient, age 53, had a similar criminal record for not reporting income in her 20s. She completed probation early, obtained her GED, and a pardon would allow her to reopen a childcare business.
Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker did not offer a second chance to a single individual in eight years through use of his power to pardon.