California Governor Brown Grants 91 Pardons in 2015

California pardons granted for 2015

You may have read the news articles about the actor Robert Downey Jr. recently receiving a pardon from California’s Governor Jerry Brown but there were others –cagovernorseal
91 in total.   Interested in the background of those who received pardons?  All 91 official documents are available in one pdf here  – 12.24.15_pardons.

From the Governor’s press release about this year’s pardons (full text here.)

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime in California may apply to the Governor for a pardon. All applicants for a pardon who were eligible obtained a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is an order from a superior court declaring that a person convicted of a crime is now rehabilitated. A gubernatorial pardon may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction. Pardons are not granted unless they are earned.

When a pardon is granted, the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are notified so that they may update their records on the applicant. The pardon is filed with the Secretary of State and the Legislature, and it is a public record.

For more information about pardons and the Certificate of Rehabilitation process, there is a government information sheet – “How to Apply for a Pardon.”

Pardons are what are granted but another term that is important for researching this process is “executive clemency” as the first step in making the request under California law is to complete the Application for Executive Clemency.

For more information about Governor Brown’s 2015 Christmas Eve pardons you can read an article entitled, “California Governor Pardons Robert Downey Jr. in Drug Case” from the Sacramento Bee.  Here is a link.

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