California Gov. Jerry Brown has upheld his Christmas Eve tradition by issuing 105 pardons for criminals being held in the California prison system, but one of these pardons was retracted shortly afterwards.
Many of the people who have received pardons have been convicted more than a decade ago of nonviolent drug offenses or charges similar to burglary, according to CBS San Francisco. Brown and his office have said those who were granted a pardon had been previously released without committing additional crimes, and had demonstrated “exemplary behavior” by being productive in their civilian lives.
However, according to the AP, the one pardon which was retracted was supposed to be granted to Glen Carnes. Carnes had been convicted of a drug-related crime in 1998 when he was a teenager, but in 2013, records show he underwent disciplinary actions for providing false statements to investment regulators.
Carnes did not admit guilt to these allegations, rather he signed a settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, agreeing to be barred from further financial investment. While celebrating the holidays with his family, Carnes said he learned about his pardon retraction, and was in disbelief.
“Oh my God. You’ve got to be kidding me,” Carnes said in a phone interview. “I cannot believe this is happening, I’ve waited 20 years for this… This is wrong.”
The pardons do not erase the conviction, rather they restore certain rights to the person. Some of these rights include the ability to further serve on a jury and allowing a person to legally own a firearm if they were not previously convicted of a crime involving a weapon. A previously convicted person also has the chance to work as a probation officer or a parole agent for the state.