Illinois exonerated waiting for pardons


DNA exoneree Marlon Pendleton of Chicago is among 1,600 people waiting for a decision from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on his application for a pardon. Pendleton, who served 10 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, is seeking to clear his name and collect about $140,000 under the state’s exoneree compensation law.

"They say once you pay your debt to society, it's over," said Pendleton, his voice bristling with anger. "But I didn't even owe a debt to society, and I paid it, and it's not over."

A former federal pardon official said the pardon backlog in Illinois may be the nation’s largest, and a federal district judge ruled recently that Blagojevich must decide on pardon applications “within a reasonable period of time."

Read the full story here

. (Chicago Tribune, 06/23/08)

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