MBA applauds Gov. Healey’s ‘groundbreaking’ pardon recommendations

Thursday, June 15, 2023
Article Picture
Top: Governor Maura Healey announced that she is recommending pardons for seven individuals.

Bottom: MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy with Governor Maura Healey.

Governor Maura Healey announced at a press conference on Thursday, June 15, that she is recommending seven individuals to the Governor’s Council for pardons, making her the first Massachusetts governor in more than 30 years to recommend pardons in her first elected year. It is also the most pardons recommended by a governor in their first year in more than 40 years. 

Those recommended for pardons are Edem Amet, Xavier Delvalle, Glendon King, John Latter, Deborah Pickard, Gerald Waloewandja and Terrence Williams. (Learn more about the individuals recommended for pardon in the governor’s press release.)

“We are taking the extraordinary step of recommending pardons just months into the start of our administration because justice can’t wait,” said Governor Healey. “These seven individuals have accepted responsibility for their crimes, which were often committed many years ago when they were young or suffering from challenging personal circumstances such as substance use disorder or abuse.”

The governor also added, “Our administration views clemency as an important executive power that can help soften the harsher edges of our criminal justice system. We are currently working to modernize the state’s clemency guidelines to center fairness and racial and gender equity.”

The MBA has advocated for clemency reform since 2021, when the MBA’s Clemency Task Force released its report, endorsed by the House of Delegates, calling for long-overdue changes to the clemency process in Massachusetts. MBA leaders also submitted proposed Executive Clemency Guidelines to the governor’s office early last month.

MBA Chief Legal Counsel Martin W. Healy, who attended the governor’s press conference, said in a statement: “Today we celebrate an unprecedented action by Governor Healey that clearly demonstrates her unwavering commitment to making our commonwealth’s justice system more equitable for all. These groundbreaking pardons by the Governor break the mold of previous administrations that largely exercised their clemency powers on a very limited basis and in the waning days of their administrations. We applaud Governor Healey for her courageous actions and focus on modernizing our justice system by making it more just for all citizens of the state.”

For more information on the MBA’s recommendations for clemency reform, read the May/June issue of the MBA’s Section Review article, “MBA Urges Gov. Healey To Issue New Clemency Guidelines,” by Pauline Quirion, co-chair of the MBA’s Clemency Task Force.