Governor Wolf’s time in office is coming to an end, and throughout his term, he has issued an impressive amount of pardons.
According to the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, Governor Tom Wolf has granted 2,098 pardons since taking office in 2015. 326 were part of an expedited review for non-violent marijuana-related offenses.
“Pardoning more than 2,000 Pennsylvanians is one of the greatest honors of my time in office,” said Gov. Wolf. “We all deserve the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and do better tomorrow—but, oftentimes, a record prevents positive forward motion, sparking a repetitive cycle of defeat. I firmly believe that with restored rights, pardoned Pennsylvanians prove themselves by stepping up and giving back to our communities.”
Governor Wolf surpassed 2,000 pardons in August when he granted 102 pardons, of which 26 were expedited review marijuana cases.
What is a pardon?
A pardon constitutes total forgiveness by the state for a criminal conviction, regardless of whether the sentence included time in prison, and allows for expungement of the related criminal record. Applying for a pardon is free for individuals seeking clemency — an update made during the Wolf Administration — and the application can be downloaded online. The process does not require a lawyer.
Under the Wolf Administration, the pardon process has been modernized so that the application process is more streamlined, and application fees are now waived. In 2019, the Board of Pardons introduced and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman authorized the Expedited Review Program for Non-Violent Marijuana-Related Offenses, a program to speed up the pardons’ application process for people with non-violent marijuana possession or paraphernalia convictions.
“History has proven that the consequences of a criminal record can change the trajectory of life for generations,” added Gov. Wolf. “With clean slates and community support, we’re empowering Pennsylvanians to own success.”
A 2020 report by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia analyzing 10 years of pardons data found that pardons contributed $16.5 million to Pennsylvania’s economy over the past decade, at no cost to anyone.
Pardon applications are available at www.bop.pa.gov.