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Pardons in Texas are extremely rare

Many people over the years have contacted me, and have inquired on this and other websites about obtaining a pardon for their convictions, probations, or deferred adjudication probations in Texas. They do not believe when they are initially told that it is almost impossible to achieve such. I came across this information recently and thought I would share it as a "guide" here so that it is available for consideration when folks in Texas question the possibility of getting a pardon.

I generally discourage people from wasting their money because of the minimal chance of success, the length of time involved, and the cost involved. Frankly, the vast majority who even apply are throwing their money away in their efforts.

Before the governor can grant a pardon, the parole board must review and recommend it.

The Board will consider a pardon in the following situations:

· Individuals on parole/mandatory supervision/annual report must have been under supervision for at 1 year without any violations during the last twelve (12) months.

· Former TDC or TDCJ-ID inmates who have discharged their sentences.

· Probated sentences (completed, unless unusual circumstances).

· Suspended sentences (completed).

· Jail sentences (completed).

· Misdemeanor sentences (completed).

The Board will NOT consider pardons in the following situations:

· Treason or impeachment

· Deferred adjudication community supervision (whether currently serving, or satisfactorily completed or discharged).

· Early dismissal from community supervision in cases defined by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42.12, Sec. 20.

· Class C misdemeanor (except for domestic violence convictions where one seeks to remedy federal disabilities, pursuant to the “Lautenberg Amendment" to the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 [18 U. S. C., Section 922(G)(9)], which prohibits firearm possession for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence).

· S. C., Section 922(G)(9)], which prohibits firearm possession for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence).

· Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division inmates (except when exceptional circumstances exist.)

· Prior out-of-state felony convictions (must first clear priors by pardon from other jurisdiction).

· Prior federal convictions (must first clear by Presidential Pardon.)

· Applicants who were denied Full Pardon and Restoration of Civil Rights less than one year ago.

On December 22, 2011, it was reported that Governor Perry had granted full pardons in the following:

• Maria Isabel Colmenares-Rodriguez, 58, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was convicted of shoplifting in 1974 at the age of 21. She was sentenced to pay a $50 fine.

• Tommie Emerson Elder, 57, of Houston, was convicted of burglary of a motor vehicle in 1976 at the age of 22. He was sentenced to three years in jail, which was probated for three years.

• Beverly Troupe Enoch, 33, of Houston, was convicted of assault with bodily injury in 1996 at the age of 18. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail, and paid a $100 fine.

• Marilyn Jean Hensley, 73, of Lewisville, was convicted of theft by check between $20 and $200 in 1982 at the age of 44. She was sentenced to 12 months in jail, which was probated for 12 months, and paid a $50 fine.

• Shelanda Renee Jackson, 42, of Houston, was convicted of unlawfully carrying a weapon in 1988 at the age of 18. She was sentenced to three days in jail, and paid a $500 fine.

• Annup Raj Joshi, 39, of Tallahassee, Fla., was convicted of theft of property between $50 and $500 in 1997 at the age of 25. He was sentenced to six months in jail, which was probated for two years, and paid a $500 fine.

• Michael Curtis Owings, 67, of Bay St. Louis, Miss., was convicted of burglary of a coin-operated machine and breaking and entering a coin-operated machine in 1964 at the age of 20. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

• Cheri Hope Williams, 47 of College Station, was convicted of shoplifting in 1983 at the age of 19. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was probated for 180 days, and paid a $300 fine.

Additional resources provided by the author

Here is a checklist and application packet from the governor's office: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/exec_clem/FP%2010%20FP%20Information%20and%20Checklist%20-%20A.pdf

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