Missouri Governor Releases Names of 24 Inmates Pardoned
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday released the names of 24 inmates he has chosen to pardon and the four whose sentences he’s commuted.
Parson’s office announced he was pardoning inmates on Monday but did not release the names of the individuals, citing privacy and the need to ensure families were notified first.
In a press release, Parson said that the 24 individuals have “demonstrated a change in lifestyle” and that the official pardon documents had been filed.
“This is the time of year for forgiveness,” Parson. “There must be serious consequences for criminal behavior, but when individuals demonstrate a changed lifestyle and a commitment to abandoning the ways of their past, they should be able to redeem themselves in the eyes of the law.”
These are the first pardons issued by the former sheriff, and he said his legal team continues to review a backlog of clemency files. According to his office, there are 3,695 pending clemency applications.
In addition to the pardons, Parson commuted the sentences of three drug offenders. Gary Mitchell, Jason Norman and Darrell Harris will finish the rest of their sentences on supervised house arrest pending the approval of a home plan by the Parole Board.
All of the men previously didn’t qualify for parole but became eligible after a change in state law and a Missouri Supreme Court ruling.
“They have all been active participants in programming, completed numerous restorative justice hours and demonstrated good behavior while incarcerated,” Parson said,
Parson also commuted the sentence of a drug offender, Anne Coke, of Marshall. According to the Marshall Democrat-News, Coke received a 30-year sentence for fraudulently attempting to obtain controlled substances. Parson reduced that to two consecutive eight-year sentences.
Here is a list of the people Parson pardoned:
Gary Walton Sr.