1,700 Pending Pardon Cases in PA – April 2023 PA Board of Pardons Merit Reviews: Answers and Updates

1,700 Pending Pardon Cases in PA – April 2023 PA Board of Pardons Merit Reviews: Answers and Updates

As of April 2023, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons has recorded more than 1,700 pending pardon cases in the state. The Board also moved over 300 cases forward to Merit Review. As with any case of backlog, the delays in the state’s pardon review process are due to inefficiencies in case processing. 

Here’s a detailed look at some of the latest measures the board is putting in place to address backlogs.

Recent PA Board of Pardons Update

Recognizing inefficiencies, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is implementing several measures to digitize its pardon processing procedures. The board requires its constituents to undergo CLE training as part of the digitalization measures. 

CLE training can improve staff capabilities, translating to better efficiency in processing every pardon online. CLE training is going to be instrumental going forward for the board’s full transition to online processing. 

At the time of writing, the board has also expressed its goal to double its staff. Staffing additions will move things along more quickly and help the board keep up with more demands for pardons. Hopefully, more staff can facilitate the process to a point where it can take less than the average two years for a person to get a merit review.

Recent Legislation

The state has passed recent legislation concerning the authority of common plea judges. The legislation granted judges the authority to waive fines and costs for those who petition for relief.

The new powers of common plea judges can expedite the pardons process by enabling defendants to file for pardons sooner. Before enacting the new legislation, a defendant could only file an expungement petition after settling their fines. 

For example, if someone were fined $20,000 for possession of drugs, that person would have had to pay the entire amount before getting the charge removed from the criminal record. As you can imagine, the amount can take years to produce.  

However, with the new legislation, common plea judges can waive the fine and allow individuals to file for pardons sooner, giving defendants a shot at an earlier public hearing date. 

Pardon Reviews

The board has now moved from scheduling full in-person public session merit reviews to shorter remote Zoom sessions. Instead of a regular meeting in a public building, you might be attending your next merit review online.   

Since the Board and these new procedures are new, we haven’t been able to see whether they produce the desired effect. With the current case backlog, it’s also safe to say that the pardon and expungement process will still take as long as it used to – approximately 24 months, plus or minus.

Nevertheless, the new merit review measures indicate the board’s willingness to expedite the pardon process

Answering Your Pardon and Expungement News

The board releases updates regularly, so things change fast. Keep up with the latest pardon and expungement developments and get the inside information by checking out our Youtube channel

How Record Eraser Can Help

Clearing your name can be complicated and overwhelming. That’s why our team at Record Eraser understands the challenges you may face and are here to help. 

We work with the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons to track your case as it moves through the process.   We can assess your eligibility for expungements or pardons in PA. With our assistance, you’ll clear your criminal history and be on your way to the life you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us immediately to see if you qualify for an expungement petition. 

You deserve to leave your criminal history in the past where it belongs. Tell us your story. Erase your record with our help and live the life you deserve.

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