Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Texas Governor's Pardon Stats - It Is Overwhelmingly Unlikely To Receive A Pardon From Perry

I occasionally have people contact me about pardons. In the simplest explanation, a pardon is an application by a person with a criminal conviction (or deferred adjudication probation) to request that the governor pardon him / her for the crime, and it restores all the rights which one has lost and allows one's record to be essentially cleared. The application is provided to the Parole Board which makes a recommendation to the governor. As you can see by the numbers below, far more than 1/2 the time, the board recommends not to grant the pardon. But even more interesting is the number of times that, despite the board's positive recommendations, that Perry denied the applications.

Most of the folks who have contacted me about pardons have been people who were very young when they got into trouble (remember that criminal laws treat 17 year olds as adults), were often experimenting with drugs, committed a non-violent crime (often drug possession), and have lived life as a law-abiding citizen since their law trouble. Over the years, several people have contacted me whose convictions were 25 to 30 years old. I have told them all the sad truth about pardons with the current governor - no matter what the factual circumstances, it is not likely one will receive a pardon. (You can bet that there are many people who apply who circumstances are similar to those I have spoken with.) I feel that taking a fee, and it would be a large fee because of the amount of time involved, would almost be like stealing from the client. Check out the numbers below (and I apologize about the formatting. I could not get the layout correct.)

Year # considered # recommended # granted

2001 76 30 2

2002 410 66 3

2003 285 90 73

2004 259 42 9

2005 221 44 0

2006 183 48 11

2007 148 24 12

2008 176 27 6

2009 158 52 8