Articles Posted in Restoration of firearm privileges

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!

Hello and Happy New Year to all! I have just received the official press list of the 20 individuals to whom Governor Pritzker has granted executive clemency authorizing expungement and I can advise that this list includes, as usual, people with both misdemeanor and felony convictions, ranging in nature from non-violent drug offenses to crimes of violence, including battery, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting a peace officer. There were several pardons authorizing expungement granted today for (retail) theft convictions and there was even one pardon with authorization to expunge a conviction involving domestic battery and endangering the life and health of a child.  Some of these pardoned individuals spent time in prison while others were on probation or conditional discharge for a period of time. The most recent case appearing to be pardoned occurred in 2011, while the oldest dated back to 1975.  I have no doubt that all of these people, like so many of us, made a mistake or two in their past but have moved on in a healthy and productive way, thus earning this highly coveted relief from the Governor. It is unclear to me at this point if any of these pardons with authorization to expunge granted today restored firearm ownership privileges to anyone.

In addition to granting these undoubtedly deserving individuals relief through the formal written pardon process, Governor Pritzker also granted relief today to over 11,000 people with minor cannabis offenses on their backgrounds, allowing them a fresh start as well.

Congratulations to everyone receiving a second chance and for those of you reading this with some blemishes still remaining on your own record, please consider reaching out to me for a free consultation and a brief overview of current the expungement, sealing and executive clemency processes. I’d be glad to help if I can!

After reviewing a batch of clemency petitions in both November and December, 2018, and granting just a few petitions each time (including commuting the sentences of six young men who were given lengthy prison sentences for what were described as “minor” infractions at a southern Illinois youth correctional facility on December 27, 2018), outgoing Governor Rauner granted thirty pardons with authorization to expunge, most of which contained language restoring firearm ownership privileges as well, on January 11, 2019.  He also granted an additional four commutations, two of which were for murder convictions, thereby shortening the sentences of the individuals currently incarcerated for those crimes.  When Governor Rauner exited office, there were no pending clemency petitions left for newly elected Governor Pritzker to inherit.

I am proud to say that two of my own clients were granted executive clemency with authorization to expunge, including the restoration of their firearm privileges, in this last batch of decisions by now ex-Governor Rauner. A very sincere congratulations to all the deserving individuals who were successful in obtaining what is referred to as an “extraordinary remedy”!  We shall now see what incoming Governor Pritzker will do for worthy candidates for executive clemency, only time will tell.

If your clemency petition was denied, please know that many candidates do have to petition for relief at least twice, sometimes even three or more times. There is a standard waiting period of one year from the date of denial before you are able to submit a new petition for executive clemency, but that time frame can be waived under certain circumstances. Please consider contacting an attorney knowledgeable in this highly nuanced area of the law to assist you in preparing your petition for executive clemency with authorization to expunge, possibly with restoration of firearm ownership privileges.

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