Gov. Pat Quinn has granted 74 clemencies and denied 99 petitions, chipping away at a backlog of more than 2,500 cases in Illinois.
Quinn's office says that the 173 cases he addressed on Friday come from dockets ranging from 2004 to 2007. More than 2,500 clemency cases built up under Quinn's predecessor, ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Quinn has acted on 1,529 clemency petitions since taking office. He has granted 591 and denied 938.
Clemency has been in the spotlight since former Republican Gov. George Ryan pardoned several people on death row and commuted sentences of others before leaving office in 2003.
Quinn recently signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in Illinois and commuted the sentences of all 15 men who remained on death row.