In what may be his final act of executive clemency this year, Governor Rauner has commuted the sentences of just two individuals and pardoned with authorization to expunge three others on December 23, 2016. With regards to the commutations of sentences, both cases were from Bureau County in 1994 and were convictions for trafficking a controlled substance; one sentence was originally for ninety-five years and was reduced to fifty years, the other sentence was for sixty years and was also reduced to fifty years. As for the pardons with authorization to expunge, the earliest case was a 1985 Cook County case ending in a conviction for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, then there was a 1994 Effingham County case which terminated with a conviction for retail theft and finally, a 2002 Henry County case which resulted in a burglary conviction. One hundred ninety-five petitions for executive clemency were denied on December 23, 2016.
As has previously been reported, Governor Rauner has now cleared the backlog of petitions left behind by his predecessors and is now working on current petitions for executive clemency. While I am very pleased with the speed in which Governor Rauner is deciding these types of petitions, I can only hope that he expands his criteria for relief, as I personally know of multiple deserving individuals who have been denied in the past two years.