Judiciary Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-170

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING PARDONS.

Vote Date:

4/9/07

Vote Action:

JFS

PH Date:

3/12/2007

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Senator Martin Looney

REASONS FOR BILL:

Present law is unclear regarding the jurisdiction of the Board of Pardons and Paroles and their authority to grant pardons to persons convicted of violations that can result in incarceration, such as motor vehicle infractions.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Senator Martin Looney: I support this bill as it makes clear that the Board has the authority to grant pardons to persons convicted of violations that can result in incarceration.

This is a common sense addition to our law regarding pardons, and in fact, I had communication on this issue from Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and former Yale Law School faculty member, Dane Guido Calabresi, about the anomaly to some extent, of not allowing for pardons to the offense of where there are some violations that may, in fact, involve the possibility of prison as well as is in the case of felonies and misdemeanors.

This bill would allow those convicted of violations the opportunity to overcome their history in the same manner as those convicted of crimes as designated in our statutes.

Robert Farr, Chairman, Board of Pardons and Paroles: We object to this legislation as it raises questions about what specific barriers are intended for relief. Current language authorizes for the granting of a pardon for “offenses” against the state. I am unclear as to what classification of offenders would benefit and what additional authority this legislation would give the Board. I suspect that this bill intends to grant relief for motor vehicle infractions, which are generally not noted on arrest records.

Susan O. Storey, Chief Public Defender, Office of the Chief Public Defender: We support this bill as it would grant the Board of Pardons and Paroles discretion to accept and grant pardon applications in appropriate cases where the person is rehabilitated and is presently contributing to society.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Nothing submitted.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Nothing submitted

Reported by: Jared W. Kupiec

Date: 4/9/07