Two locals receive gubernatorial pardons

By From page A8 | December 27, 2013

Two people, with the help of the the Superior Court of El Dorado County, have obtained pardons from the governor for old crimes.

Scott Collins was sentenced on Oct. 7, 1993, in Kern County for receiving stolen property, the pardon states. Collins, then 22 years old, stole a motorcycle. He was sentenced to four months in prison and one year of parole, and was successfully discharged on March 27, 1995.

Linda Williams was sentenced on March 14, 1979, in San Francisco County for possession of a controlled substance. She served a year in prison followed by a year of parole and was successfully discharged on June 17, 1982, her pardon states.

Orders from May 28, 2012, and Jan. 10, 1986, respectively, from the El Dorado County Superior Court noted that since their releases, both Collins and Williams have “lived an honorable and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted (themselves) as a law-abiding citizen(s),” the pardons read.

Both pardons were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Dec. 24 as part of a group of 127 pardons. Pardons can be obtained after sentences have been completed and a decade has passed without further criminal activity.

Most applicants, a press release from the Governor’s Office stated, obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation, an order from a county’s Superior Court. A pardon from the governor “may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction” but notes that “Pardons are not granted unless they are earned.” The pardon is reviewed by the Board of Parole Hearings, possibly contacting district attorneys, law enforcement agencies and others with relevant information before being signed by the governor.

After a pardon is granted, both the California Department of Justice and the FBI are notified so that applicants’ records can be updated. The pardons are filed with the Secretary of State — currently Debra Bowen — and with the Legislature.

The pardon does not seal or expunge the conviction record. A gubernatorial pardon does, however, reinstate the applicant’s ability to serve on a trial jury; restores firearms rights, upon federal approval, except to those convicted of a felony involving use of a dangerous weapon; allows the applicant to apply for appointment as a county probation officer or state parole officer — but not any other law enforcement position; and allows sex offenders still required to register after obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation, after being granted a full and unconditional pardon, to be relieved of their duty to do so. A Certificate of Rehabilitation relieves some sex offenders, as specified in the Penal Code, of their duty to further register; enhances a felon’s potential to be licensed by a state board; could enhance employment possibilities; and could serve as an automatic application for a gubernatorial pardon.

Cole Mayer

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