HARRISBURG – At last week’s Merit Review in the Capitol, Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons granted public hearings to 77 applicants out of 147 cases heard, according to Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the board.
“The staff at the board of pardons is doing tremendous work processing applications at a record rate,” Stack said. “This hard work by the staff and board members is resulting in more opportunities for second chances.”
The 77 cases will be heard along with 13 cases that were held over from the September public hearings. Some of those cases were held over due to Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida on Sept. 10 and prevented former Pennsylvanians now living in Florida from travelling to the Capitol to present their cases.
The high number of hearings will result in an added third day of hearings. The 90 total cases will now be held Wednesday, Dec. 13; Thursday, Dec. 15; and Friday, Dec. 15 in the Supreme Court Chamber on the 4th floor of the Main Capitol Building.
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 heard 72 cases during the Sept. 14 and 15 session.
The board will also hear the commutation applications of three people serving life sentences. Those applicants will be interviewed in person at SCI Camp Hill on Dec. 13.