Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has been granting pardons at a torrid pace after his predecessor didn’t issue any for eight years, and has announced new moves to streamline and simplify the pardon application process.
Evers granted another 71 pardons Tuesday, bringing the governor’s total number of granted pardons to 263 pardons since the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board was announced in 2019.
With Tuesday’s announcement, the governor is on target to pardon more people in his first term than any governor in contemporary history. The Board heard from applicants virtually in May, June, July and August and applicants the Board recommended for pardon were forwarded to Evers for final consideration.
In addition to granting 71 pardons over the past four months, the governor signed Executive Order 130, making changes to the pardon process.
Executive Order 130 creates a new, expedited process for applications that meet stricter criteria. Under the new process, the chair of the Pardon Advisory Board may send an application directly to the governor without a board hearing if the applicant committed only a non-violent offense and sufficient time has passed since the conviction. All other applications will be heard by the Pardon Advisory Board.
Executive Order 130 is available HERE.
Additionally, a new application is being issued which expands pardon eligibility to ensure individuals who have completed all their sentences after five years have passed. Previously, individuals could only be pardoned for their most recent felony.
Under Executive Orders 30 and 130, individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have no pending criminal charges or cases. Individuals currently required to register on the sex offender registry are ineligible for a pardon.
The updated pardon application, instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the pardon process are located on the governor’s website at www.evers.wi.gov/Pages/pardon-information.aspx. There is no deadline to apply for a pardon. Individuals may receive free assistance in completing a pardon application by contacting Legal Action of Wisconsin or the Milwaukee Justice Center Mobile Legal Clinic.
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.