HARRISBURG – At a Merit Review session held in the State Capitol Friday, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons granted public hearings to 65 of the 100 applicants whose requests were reviewed by the board.
“This is an extraordinary number of cases and I am grateful to the board staff and members for all of the time and dedication it took to prepare and review them,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Board of Pardons.
The Merit Review is the first step in the consideration of pardons.
In conjunction with corrections officials, Board of Pardons staff prepared reviews of the 100 applications and submitted them to board members for consideration. At a teleconference conducted in Room 8E-A in the Capitol, the board voted on whether each applicant would get a full hearing in front of the board.
In addition to the 65 hearings granted, the board also approved one reconsideration of a denial decision made at the June public hearings and rejected one reconsideration. The board will also hear six cases that were continued from the June session.
In the public hearings, applicants are given 15 minutes to come before the board to present their cases for pardon and answer sometimes probing questions. At the end of each session, the board votes on whether to recommend the applicant for pardon to the governor, who has the final say.
The board will hear the 72 cases on Sept. 14 and 15 in the state Capitol’s Supreme Court Chamber.