Not quite two (2) Fridays ago, perhaps in advance of the upcoming Easter holiday as is common tradition, Governor J. B. Pritzker granted a total of thirteen (13) Petitions for Executive Clemency. Most of these grants were in the forms of a pardon authorizing expungement of the underlying case or cases in the appropriate county’s or counties’ Circuit Court(s), but there were included amongst the success stories three (3) commutations of sentences. The convictions at issue ranged, as usual, from felonies to misdemeanors/ordinance violations, and the crimes were both of a violent and non-violent nature, and included burglary, theft, forgery, drug offenses, battery and murder. The convictions spanned a period of twenty (25) years, from 1985 to 2010. None of these pardons recently granted included any restoration of firearm ownership privileges and/or rights. I am very proud to say that one (1) of my clients was included in this group of individuals granted relief from past convictions and I am sincerely elated for this extremely deserving individual.
Prior to this recent batch of clemency grants, Governor Pritzker granted twenty-four (24) undoubtedly deserving individuals relief through the executive clemency process; nineteen (19) individuals were granted a pardon with authorization to expunge (two (2) of these did include restoration of firearm ownership privileges and/or rights) and five (5) people’s sentences were commuted on December 18, 2020. Again, the convictions ranged from serious, violent felonies to less serious, non-violent misdemeanors, and spanned the years from 1981 to to 2016. Additionally, on January 14, 2021, Governor Pritzker commuted one (1) person’s sentence on a 2012 second degree murder and burglary conviction and just two (2) days later, he commuted a sentence on a 2016 aggravated discharge of a firearm conviction.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to Governor Pritzker for acting on these very important restorative justice issues, even during the current pandemic we are suffering through, and a sincere congratulations to everyone who was the recipient of relief through the clemency process!