Friday, November 14, 2014

Outgoing Arkansas governor to pardon son's drug conviction

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said he plans to pardon his son's felony marijuana conviction, arguing he deserves the same second chance as hundreds of other nonviolent offenders, reported ABC News.
Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the two-term Democratic governor would pardon Kyle Beebe, 34, who was convicted in 2003 of felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver. DeCample said the governor planned to formally announce his intent to pardon his son in early December.
Beebe is leaving office in January due to term limits, and is being succeeded by Republican Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson. DeCample said Beebe has issued more than 700 pardons since taking office in 2007.
"A significant number of those have been young first time drug offenders because he believes that if you make a mistake especially with nonviolent crime and you straighten your life out, you deserve a second chance," DeCample said. "There's no reason why he wouldn't hold his son to that same standard."
Little Rock television station KATV first reported on Beebe's plans earlier Wednesday. The governor told the station he believed his son had grown since the 2003 conviction. His son applied for a pardon in June.
"I would have done it a long time ago if he'd have asked, but he took his sweet time about asking," Beebe told KATV. "He was embarrassed. He's still embarrassed, and frankly, I was embarrassed and his mother was embarrassed. All of the families that go through that, it's tough on the families, but hopefully the kids learn."
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