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The Board of Pardons unanimously recommended Bruce Norris for a commutation in December, but Tom Wolf had yet to approve it.
The New York governor has released a plan to legalize marijuana, months after voters in the Garden State approved legalization in November. Advocates say the pressure could have ripple effects regionally.
The review follows an investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA, which found that troopers were using minor traffic stops to illegally detain and search motorists along highways.
Tom Wolf said Tuesday that legalizing and taxing recreational use of marijuana could help solve fiscal woes that arose from the pandemic, and address long-standing racial injustices.
The state Board of Pardons recommended last year that hundreds of people’s criminal records be cleared. Months later, more than half are still waiting for Tom Wolf’s signature.
The two men have been awaiting Tom Wolf’s signature for more than six months.
Democrats have introduced and reintroduced bills that have languished in the Judiciary Committee, which must approve them before they reach the full House.
Advocates had hoped Governor Tom Wolf would use his executive reprieve power to release thousands of people from prisons in the face of COVID-19.
Freddy Butler, Oliver Macklin, and Charles Goldblum are among the 17 people who received recommendations for commutations of life sentences in 2019, but Governor Tom Wolf has yet to sign off on their releases.
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project was seeking the exoneration of Rudolph Sutton when he died on April 8 from complications related to COVID-19.
Tom Wolf said Friday he will use his reprieve power, a form of clemency, to reduce the state prison population.
They tell Tom Wolf that taking any unilateral actions to reduce the state’s prison population would endanger public safety.
The emergency program seeks to release a select group of prisoners but does not go far enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, experts and Democratic lawmakers say.
The Office of General Counsel determined that the governor could likely use reprieves to release vulnerable people from prison to control COVID-19’s spread, but the office is advising against it, according to internal emails obtained by The Appeal.