Wisconsin’s governor has issued more pardons than any governor in modern history.
Gov. Tony Evers last week issued another 171 pardons, bringing his four-year total to 774.
Last October, WRN reported that in just four years, Gov. Tony Evers has granted more than 41% of all of the pardons granted in Wisconsin history since 1979. He’s issuing pardons at a rate of 7 times more than his predecessors. Evers has been using his unfettered pardon power to wipe out people’s lengthy criminal histories, even the records of some habitual criminals.
“A pardon is both an act of forgiveness and an acknowledgment that an individual has done the work to make amends for a past mistake and put forth the effort to be a positive contributor in their community,” the governor said in his latest pardon message.
The Evers pardons list includes a number of people with decades-old drug convictions but also includes several people with theft convictions and at least one person convicted of welfare fraud.
“[Pardons are] an important tool to not only live out our Wisconsin values of empathy, compassion, and respect, but to open the doors of opportunity for individuals, their families, and their communities. I am proud of the work we’ve done over the past four years to give so many a second chance and look forward to continuing this work in the new year.”
A pardon restores a number of rights for the formerly convicted, including the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not expunge court records.
Evers pardoned more people in his first four years than any other Wisconsin governor, and his office said the governor has pardoned more people than “any governor in contemporary history.”
Evers begins his second four-year term on Tuesday.