Evers pardons nearly 400, most of any Wisconsin governor

Gov. Tony Evers

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday, Jan. 13 he had pardoned 54 more people, bringing his total to nearly 400, the most of any Wisconsin governor.

Most of the latest pardons involved low-level drug offenses. Other offenses included fraud, burglary, theft and drunken driving.

"These pardon recipients have the support of many local officials, neighbors, and community members and have earned a second chance," Evers said in a statement.

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Evers has granted 391 pardons over three years in office, more than the nearly 300 pardons that former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle issued over eight years. Republican Govs. Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum issued 262 pardons before Doyle took office. Republican Gov. Scott Walker didn’t issue a single pardon during his two terms before Evers defeated him in 2018.

A pardon doesn’t erase or seal a conviction, but it does restore the right to own a gun; to vote; to be on a jury; to hold public office; and to hold various licenses. A pardon doesn’t keep someone’s criminal record from showing up on background checks, but applicants often say clemency makes them more attractive to employers.

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