Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering releasing 40 inmates convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes, the Denver Post reports. The pardons would follow 14 commutations by the governor last November. Those pardons, however, applied to have their crimes expunged, while the 40 being considered for release were identified by the administration.
“Right now, we have not enough room left in our prisons. So if what these people are serving serious time for wasn’t violent — is no longer illegal — maybe we should be looking at (whether) it’s safe to release them.” – Hickenlooper to the Post
The review will consider the details of the cases and the inmates’ prison conduct. If the administration is satisfied that those factors are conducive for release, the administration will invite those inmates to apply for clemency. Hickenlooper indicated those inmates identified would be told their application “will have favor.”
In June, the Democratic governor signed a law allowing offenders to petition the district court to seal misdemeanor use or possession criminal records which are no longer illegal under the new law.
Earlier this month, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said his office would retroactively apply criminal justice reforms in the state’s cannabis legalization law to misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back to 1975.