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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Pence inaction on pardons confusing"

Niki Kelly, who has written a number of stores on Indiana gubernatorial pardons (see ILB posts from Dec. 22, 2014, Sept. 4, 2013 and Jan. 8, 2012, reports this afternoon in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in a long story that begins:

INDIANAPOLIS - The man touting grace and forgiveness for running mate Donald Trump has been stingy granting that mercy to those seeking pardons in Indiana.

Gov. Mike Pence has issued only three pardons in nearly 4 years.

In comparison former Gov. Mitch Daniels - who claimed to have the lowest pardon percentage of any governor - issued 62 pardons in eight years. That's about 8 a year.

The Journal Gazette contacted Pence's office Tuesday for a response and had not yet received a statement.

Pence has denied 39 pardons and another 20 are awaiting action.

That includes the now-infamous pardon request of Keith Cooper - a man who spent nine years in prison for a crime it appears he didn't commit.

He hasn't been officially exonerated by a court though DNA evidence tied another man to the crime; eyewitnesses have recanted and the deputy prosecutor in the case has urged pence to pardon Cooper.

"I feel like if this petition had been filed under Daniels he would have had the courage to grant it," said Cooper's attorney, Elliot Slosar.

Pence has total discretion on whether to give pardons, which is essentially executive forgiveness. It is often sought to allow a former offender to move past the restrictions a felony conviction holds - like being unable to get certain jobs or certifications, as well obtain a firearm carry permit.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 12, 2016 03:04 PM
Posted to Indiana Government