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Governor pardons: a path to redemption

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Pardons, redemption law

If you have made a mistake in the past that landed you in jail or got you in serious trouble with the law, you know what it’s like to  make a mistake, feel terrible about it and want a chance to make it right.

A pardon is an act of forgiveness granted by the governor that removes all the penalties and disabilities from a person’s conviction.

How do pardons work?

As stated above, a pardon is a path to redemption because the governor of a state, in this case the state of Washington, forgives an individual for the crime they committed.

What this does is restore certain rights that the government lawfully took away from the person when they received a conviction for the crime, like voting rights and the right to bear guns. Each pardon is different, however, so it depends on the case.

What is commonly misunderstood about pardons?

It is important to note that there are certain important points that people often misunderstand about pardons:

  • A pardon does not erase the fact that the person committed the crime, but removes all the penalties and disabilities caused by the conviction.
  • A person must submit a formal application to the governor’s office requesting a pardon.

A person does not have to know the governor personally to receive a pardon, as so many believe.

What happens next?

After an individual submits a request for a pardon, which must include

  • Detailed information about the person’s criminal history,
  • the circumstances surrounding the request for a pardon, and
  • the reasons why they believe they should receive a pardon.

When the governor considers this person’s application, the most important element they look at is rehabilitation.

The governor wants to know if the individual has taken clear and successful steps to turn their life around. For example, having stable employment, completing education and going to therapy.

In addition, the governor can also take into account what other people have to say. For example, you can ask people who know you, like your employer or previous employer, community connections or anyone who can attest to your character.

Post-evaluation stage

After the governor evaluates your case thoroughly, which means they will be very familiar with you, your history and, in some cases, your personality, they will make a decision about issuing a pardon.

It takes time from the moment someone applies for a pardon until the governor issues a decision, so patience is key. In addition, if the governor issues a pardon, it may be attached to certain conditions, which you must comply with without exception.

If you are thinking about petitioning for a pardon or know someone who might, make sure you have an attorney who is familiar with redemption law in the state of Washington and understands how the process works.

An attorney who works in this area of law can help you by guiding you, filing paperwork for you and even requesting information on your behalf. They know what they are doing because they have seen cases approved and denied—which should make it clear that it is best to get their help for this type of thing.