Tell the Board of Pardons: Vote Yes on Fair Commutation and Second Chances

Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Harris Gubernick, John Williams, and Marsha Grayson

In Pennsylvania, incarcerated people seeking a second chance through commutation require unanimous approval from the Board of Pardons before the Governor has the opportunity to grant or deny them the opportunity to come home. The current Board of Pardons is chaired by Lt. Governor John Fetterman and is composed of Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Corrections Expert Harris Gubernick, Psychologist John Williams, and Victim Advocate Marsha Grayson. The members of Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons must do their jobs, and give people who have demonstrated exemplary rehabilitation  the possibility of a second chance.

Before the rise of mass incarceration, the Board of Pardons recommended dozens of people for commutation every year. However, in the last 25 years the Board of Pardons has recommended less than 50 people. Meant to serve as a pathway to release for people incarcerated on life or long term sentences, the lack of action by the Board of the Pardons has reduced commutation to a cruel lottery where rehabilitated people are often voted down.

Pennsylvania currently holds over 5,000 people on life without parole sentences, the second highest in the entire United States. This means that commutation is the only pathway to release for over 10% of the prison population, and that the Commonwealth spends millions of dollars a year incarcerating people who have served decades in prison, without ever giving them a second look. In the age of COVID-19, when a prison sentence can quickly become a death sentence, the need to reduce the prison population is more clear than ever. Our communities need those in power to provide a genuine opportunity for people who have turned their lives around to receive a second chance.

We demand that members of the Board of Pardons offer a meaningful pathway to release for people who have spent decades in prison and have demonstrated their readiness to rejoin their communities.

Sign the petition now, and share with others!

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Philadelphia, PA

To: Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Harris Gubernick, John Williams, and Marsha Grayson
From: [Your Name]

Vote yes on fair commutation and second chances!