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How the expungement/pardon process will work

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019

* Tribune

He emphasized that the law provides for automatic expungement of arrests for marijuana possession under 30 grams, and that he will pardon those with convictions for possession up to 30 grams.

Individuals and prosecutors may go to court to seek expungement of cases involving up to 500 grams.

“Today we are giving hundreds of thousands of people the chance at a better life,” Pritzker said.

The governor noted that no one with a violent crime conviction will be eligible for expungement or pardon.

* Excellent story from Hannah Meisel

Expungements and pardons will available under the new law for approximately 700,000 arrest and conviction records belonging to approximately 315,000 people. […]

In the next 180 days, the state police will identify all eligible convictions based on criminal history records within the state police’s database and provide the convictions to the Prisoner Review Board, which will review the records for eligibility to ensure that the convictions in the dataset are indeed eligible for pardon and not associated with a violent crime.

After that, the board will notify local state’s attorneys of felony convictions being considered for clemency, and those county prosecutors will get 60 days to file a written objection to a pardon based on evidence that the conviction record is ineligible for clemency. The board will then provide the group of convictions eligible for clemency to the governor, who will then be able to pardon them all at once.

From there, Attorney General Kwame Raoul will file petitions with each individual circuit court around the state to expunge the records of those who were pardoned.

“We wrote in the law an expedited process,” [Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell] said of the Prison Review Board’s role in expungement. “I’m circumspect to give you a date now because I just don’t know. This is a new thing, it’s a rather large-scale thing. It’s going to take time, but it’s going to take much less time than it was otherwise.”

The Prison Review Board, a 15-member board responsible for hearing the pleas fromr incarcerated people to get out of prison earlier than their sentence dictates either on parole or for good behavior, usually takes time with their decisions. Mitchell compared that intensive fact-finding mission with the board’s responsibility in marijuana clemency, and said board’s role here will take much less time.

* Background…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - walker - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    This is one of the things that makes Illinois’ marijuana bill so much better than anything any other state has done to date.


  2. - lakeside - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    Honestly, if we never make any money from pot, legalization will have been worth it to expunge these records and to keep our black and brown youth from getting caught up by the system over nonsense.


  3. - SpfdNewb - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    -walker- It’s also the part where NJ and NY screwed up with their omnibus legalization plans. NY at least rectified it by creating an expungement process at the deadline. No idea about NJ.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    The racial disparity in legal consequences is atrocious. It’s living, breathing proof of institutional racism. So glad we’re beginning to rectify that.


  5. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    “We wrote in the law an expedited process,” …. “. It’s going to take time, but it’s going to take much less time than it was otherwise.”

    Thanks. I needed that. Will they divert people from FOID enforcement? Snark aside, ISP needs proper data admin $upport.


  6. - McLincoln - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:27 pm:

    My first pardon. Wow. I’m starting to feel old.


  7. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    500 grams is probably a bag about the size of a large bag of Doritos, depending on how tightly it’s packed. That is likely “dealer/smuggler” quantity, not user. Seems to me that expungement is a bit too lenient for that quantity.


  8. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===500 grams===

    That would be just over one pound. A lot, yes, but hardly “dealer/smuggler” territory.

    If that’s your stash and you’re selling it off in smaller quantities, my guess is your profit amounts to having other people pay for your usage. Most likely you break even but smoke for free. It’s almost like running a co-op business.


  9. - Rayne of Terror - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    SA’s are still prosecuting pot today downstate. I wish the bill would stop that too.


  10. - Southside Markie - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    Don’t expect any sort of an expedited process. PRB is notoriously slow. Reviewing 315,000 convictions and then turning them over to SA’s for further review is going to literally years.


  11. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    And just how many not convicted of violence just plea bargained down to a non violent offense? Can’t wait for the next round of Willie Horton commercials when these “nonviolent” drug abusers strike out.


  12. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    “And just how many not convicted of violence just plea bargained down to a non violent offense?”

    And just how many people plea bargained down were over-charged in the first place?

    This hypotheticals game is such a fun and meaningful use of time.

    – MrJM


  13. - Workerbee - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    So does anyone know how this new law will effect persons with a FOID card, if at all?


  14. - Nieva - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    I bet this takes years to complete.


  15. - Nonbeliever - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    Stop harping on the race angle.

    This is the just the plain right thing to do regardless who you are.


  16. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 7:11 pm:

    “Stop harping on the race angle.”

    The race angle is everything in marijuana prohibition, from the very beginning. Says a lot about criticizing it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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