2020 and 2021 are turning out to be remarkable years for executive clemency. There has arguably never been a better time to apply for a pardon. Governor Pritzker appears particularly sympathetic to the cause of criminal justice reform, including pardons. Based on our estimation, he is on track to grant far more pardon petitions than his predecessors. Former Governor Bruce Rauner gave approximately 7% of the clemency petitions during his term in office. Governor Pritzker looks on track to grant about 25% of pardon petitions.
Robert Callahan & Associates’ record is even better, granting seven out of the last seven petitions filled. At the start of 2021, Robert Callahan & Associates were waiting for decisions on seven pardon petitions. These petitions sought clemency for felony convictions ranging from Armed Robbery to Burglary to Possession of Cannabis. Some of the criminal cases were over 20 years old, while some were more recent. By personally working with each petitioner/client, we developed an individualized strategy for each petition and hearing. This strategy allows us to give a personalized presentation to the Governor’s pardon board during the hearings. Each included specific, compelling reasons explaining why the applicants should be allowed to continue improving their lives without a criminal record.
They were granting all seven of our clients’ petitions within less than six months into 2021. All the applicants were then able to expunge the offenses off their criminal records, giving them a fresh start and a new outlook for employment and housing opportunities.
Over the years, Robert J. Callahan & Associates has developed a time-tested method for applying for and litigating petitions for executive clemency. We are seeing an unprecedented willingness in the Governor’s office to give people a second chance. They seem to finally recognize that people can make mistakes in their past and still become law-abiding citizens later in life. Past administrations were not sympathetic to many deserving candidates for clemency, denying their applications for trivial and unfair reasons. The percentage of approvals was dismally low, and it seemed as if denials were being “rubber-stamped.” Fortunately, all that seems to be changing.
In Illinois, there has never been a better time to seek clemency. The process requires significant preparation and time for a well-crafted petition. Executive clemency is a comprehensive legal remedy designed to overcome the negative impacts of a criminal record. It is by no means an automatic and overnight solution. A firm experienced in filing clemency petitions provides you the best chances of a professional and persuasive petition. To discuss filing a petition, call our office at 312-322-9000.
Release ID: 89010093