Gov. Mike DeWine says he wants to make it easier and quicker for people who have long-ago criminal convictions to be considered for pardons.
DeWine says he often sees pardon applications for murderers, rapists and other offenders.
“They got a snowball’s chance in hell of getting granted, some of them. And so they’re kind of clogging the system, and the people who really should be applying aren’t applying," DeWine said.
His expedited pardon process is for people convicted of mostly nonviolent crimes who haven’t re-offended in the last decade. They need to have made good faith efforts to meet sentencing requirements, such as paying restitution. They should have a record of volunteering and/or community service. And they need to have held a job after release from prison or have a specific reason for not working.
The process isn't for current inmates. And people who've committed violent crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping, domestic violence and crimes against minors won't be eligible for the expedited process.
DeWine said he's not sure how many people could be affected.
“We don’t know the full impact of this. And so, I’m doing this because I have the power to do it," DeWine said.
Law students from Ohio State and the University of Akron would screen applicants.
Past criminal convictions can be disqualifiers for employment, housing and student loans.