Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Gov. Wolf signs off on 310 pardons

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed off on 310 pardons, 69 of them impacting the lives of nonviolent marijuana offenders, whom criminal justice advocates say face a lifetime of repercussions for an offense that's now treated no more seriously than a traffic ticket in some jurisdictions across the state, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Wolf signed the pardons last week, his office said in a statement. The marijuana offenders were included in a new state program, started in 2019, under the auspices of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who chairs the state Board of Pardons, and who has been an outspoken advocate of cannabis legalization. The program speeds up the lengthy pardons process for people with nonviolent convictions for marijuana possession or paraphernalia charges.

"These pardons will give these 310 people a chance to put the conviction behind them, offering them more opportunities as they build careers, buy homes, and move on with their lives free of this burden,” Wolf said in a statement released by his office. “In particular, the nonviolent marijuana convictions-associated pardons have been expedited to make what was a years-long process now a matter of months.”

In all, Wolf has signed 95 pardons related to the expedited marijuana conviction review program, his office said in a statement.

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