Gov. Quinn Announces Clemency Decisions Ahead Of Thanksgiving
Governor Pat Quinn granted clemency to 126 Illinois prisoners Wednesday, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Crimes of some of the pardoned date back to the 1970s. A number of them have been waiting for a decision since 2005.
A backlog of clemency requests built up under ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. The former governor acted on very few appeals -- once, he only acted on one for more than a year.
Ken Tupy, with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, says the board makes recommendations on each case, but the governor doesn't have to follow it.
"The board tends to look at the amount of violence in the crime, the amount of harm on the victims, what the petitioner has done with their life, how many years it's been, whether or not they've shown that they're rehabilitated," he said.
Quinn has granted clemency to over 1,200 people in his term as governor, and denied a pardon to more than 2,100.
The governor has said he would make clemency requests a top priority in his weeks he has left in the job, and Tupy says he expects there to be many more clemency announcements.