'A 2nd chance:' Gov. Tony Evers grants pardons to 8 people

MADISON — On Sunday, Nov. 10, Governor Tony Evers issued pardons to eight people following the consideration of recommendations made by the Governor's Pardon Advisory Board after their hearing on Monday, Oct. 14.

“Pardons play a very important role in our criminal justice system and society by giving deserving folks a second chance,” Gov. Evers said. “For so many of these individuals, their past record has held them back from achieving personal or career goals, and I look forward to seeing how they use this second chance to give back to their communities and our state.”

According to a news release from the Office of the Governor, the following individuals were pardoned by Gov. Evers:

    Under Executive Order #30, people convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. People currently required to register on the sex offender registry are not eligible for a pardon.

    The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is 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. A pardon does not result in an expungement. A copy of the pardon application and instructions for applying are located HERE.

    Wisconsin is one of 30 states where the governor has the exclusive power to grant pardons, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Restoration of Rights Project. In 10 other states, governors must first get approval from another entity, such as a pardons board.

    Evers campaigned on the promise to reform the pardons board after his predecessor Scott Walker disbanded it and never issued a pardon over eight years.