Pritzker Grants 20 Clemency Petitions

By Benjamin Cox on January 2, 2020 at 8:38am

Miguel Perez Jr., an Army veteran deported 18 months ago, hugs Sara Walker after a news conference in which he talked about his surprise citizenship swearing-in earlier in the day, at Lincoln Methodist Church on Oct. 4, 2019. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

Governor J.B Pritzker announced 20 clemency petitions hours ahead of New Year’s yesterday.

The cases date back to 1975, include battery, drug possession, attempted burglary and theft according to the list released on Tuesday by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

People whose clemency petitions are granted may go to court to try to have their criminal records expunged. All have undergone a recent criminal background check through an Illinois law enforcement data system.

The petitions are separate from the 11,000 marijuana case expungements that Pritzker announced earlier yesterday. The group of 20 are from petition seekers who want to clear their records, often times in hopes of improving job opportunities.

Pritzker pardoned 4 individuals in 2019, including U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez who had been deported to Mexico because of a 2008 cocaine drug trafficking conviction. The pardon allowed Perez to return to the United States and he has since become a naturalized citizen.