Evers Looks to Bring Back Pardon Power

Gov. Tony Evers meets with corrections officials (Courtesy: Evers admin.)


Author: Patrick Williams

Newly-elected Gov. Tony Evers says he will grant pardons for convicted felons.

This reverses the policy of the Walker administration who granted zero pardons in his eight years in office. According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Evers says his administration will consider applications from the Pardon Advisory Board, which reviews applications by convicted felons. During the Walker administration, no pardon applications were accepted and the board sat empty.

The pardon power can be used by Wisconsin governors to restore the rights that convicted felons. It is also a way for the governor to grant commuted sentences to felons. Brendan Dassey, who became known through the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer,” is eligible to receive a pardon from Gov. Evers for example.

Evers tells WKOW, he’s unwilling to comment on specific cases such as Dassey’s.

“I won’t pick out anybody that I’m suggesting that they apply, people will be able to apply and the board will take recommendations,” Evers says. “I think most people in the state understand that people can be rehabilitative and need a second chance, and this gives people the second chance.”

Whoever Evers decides to pardon will now be public information as part of a new rule passed during the lame duck legislative session in December.