Governor's Pardon

President Obama is one of the Most Stingy Presidents When it Comes to Pardons - Updated and Remixed

I am voting for President Obama on Tuesday, but his pardon statistics have not been impressive. According to pardonpower.com (the leading blog on pardons), President Obama has been very stingy when it comes to pardons and clemency. Propublica is running an extensive series of articles on the pardon process and what is wrong with it.

In Michigan, executive clemency has been rarely granted. Between 1969 and present, only 58 pardons have been granted. I find the number a disgrace, but have not been able to figure out why everyone has reset the clock in 1969.

Clearly, Michigan used to be more generous with pardons. In doing some research, I found this turn of the
last century book on pardons granted by Michigan Governor Hazen S. Pingree between 1897 and 1900. He signed more pardons than Governors Milliken, Blanchard, Engler, Granholm, and Snyders combined! It is even more interesting because Governor Pingree gave a long statement of reasons in support of these pardons.

One of the more interesting federal applications was from
Serena Nunn. Ms. Nunn was convicted of a non-violent drug offense at age 19. She subsequently had her sentenced commuted by President Clinton. She attended Arizona State University and graduated. She then went to the University of Michigan Law School. She needs a pardon to be admitted to the practice of law in Georgia.

Update #1 What confuses me is that the National Conference of Bar Examiners says that a felony should not bar her admission. Further, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in September of 2011 that an applicant with a felony conviction can be admitted if he/she proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that he/she has been rehabilitated. In re Yunker, 289 Ga 636; 715 SE2d 92 (2011). See also In re Payne, 289 Ga. 746, 715 S.E.2d 139 (2011),
Update #2 According to this FAMM press release, Ms. Nunn apparently was approved to be an attorney and will be sworn in.

Updated #3. Here is an interesting NPR article on President Obama and pardons.