Pennsylvania Capitol Building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

Pa. House committee advances bill that would change how the state handles pardons

BY: - November 13, 2023

House Bill 1410 would amend the state’s constitution to change the requirement that the Board of Pardons must vote unanimously on whether to advance a pardon request to the governor. Under the bill, the BOP would return to the simple majority vote that was in place before the sentencing reforms of the 1990s.

A proposed amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution would change how the state considers pardons

BY: - October 30, 2023

Pennsylvania's Board of Pardons must vote unanimously in order for a person to be recommended for a pardon. HB 1410 would change it to a simple majority.

‘Pardon Me’ documentary aims to raise awareness about Pennsylvania’s pardon process

BY: - October 26, 2023

A pardon can remove the “civil disabilities” that come with a criminal conviction, and a new documentary is trying to reach eligible people.


Expediting pardons is good for Pennsylvania | Opinion

BY: - August 4, 2023

By Andrea Lindsay Last week, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons (BOP) announced updates to its “expedited review” program for pardon applicants, promising to deliver pardons to more people, sooner. This program adopts several of the expedited review tracks proposed in Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity’s (PLSE) 2022 report Expediting Pardons in Pennsylvania, which I authored, […]

Outgoing Gov. Wolf sets clemency record, granting 2,540 pardons

BY: - January 13, 2023

The administration said that 395 of the 2,540 pardons granted were part of an expedited review program, authorized by then-Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and the state Board of Pardon in 2019, to speed up the clemency application process for people with nonviolent marijuana possession or paraphernalia convictions. 

Commutation applications put on indefinite hold, as reformers press for action amid pandemic

BY: - April 28, 2020

Public hearings scheduled for June will be delayed until the state Capitol reopens -- a day that could be weeks or months away.

Facing pushback, Shapiro announces support for constitutional amendment changing voting requirements for commutations

BY: - January 28, 2020

Shapiro took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to voice his support for a constitutional amendment sponsored by Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, that would reduce the number of votes a clemency seeker needs to commute a lifetime prison sentence.

Fetterman, Shapiro say they both believe in second chances. Pardons board votes tell two different stories

BY: - January 24, 2020

The politicians currently on Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons both say they believe in second chances for convicted criminals. They’ve also been rumored — or outright admitted — to have ambitions for higher offices.

Pa. Reps. Lamb, Houlahan endorse Joe Biden for president

BY: - January 6, 2020

Biden now has received the endorsements of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.,  and five of Pennsylvania’s nine Congressional Democrats.

Pardons board rejections leave Lt. Gov. John Fetterman ‘dismayed’

BY: - December 21, 2019

A watershed year for Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons ended in disappointment for many criminal justice advocates on Friday, when the panel denied bids from nearly a dozen people seeking release from prison. The Board of Pardons heard 15 cases on Friday from inmates hoping to have life sentences commuted. It denied all but two, and […]

Pennsylvanians with minor cannabis convictions can apply for an expedited pardon

BY: - October 2, 2019

The announcement comes less than a week after Wolf said for the first time he backs legalizing cannabis for recreational adult use.


Once behind bars, new Pardons Secretary Brandon Flood says he wants others to have the same shot at a second chance he did

BY: - April 8, 2019

Brandon Flood knows all about what it’s like to need a second chance. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that he was looking for one himself. When he was 17, Flood was convicted on charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine. When he was 22, he was nabbed on a firearms violation. He’d […]