Illinois Governor Pat Quinn ended 2009 by granting 34 pardons and denying 51 others. Quinn has called the number of pardons on his desk a "massive backlog" which was made worse by the previous Governor, Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich did not act on any pardons. There are currently over 2,500 pardon requests sitting on the Governor's desk. The 85 pardons that were acted on at the end of 2009 date back from 2004. Quinn has acted on a total of 895 pardon petitions since he took office in January of 2009. He has granted 362 pardons and authorized eight people who he pardoned to obtain expungements of their convictions. Unfortunately, there is no law that requires that a Governor act on a pardon request. Petitioner's must simply wait for a decision. Governor Quinn has made a habit of acting on pardon requests during major holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. His office is beginning to make a dent in the tremendous backlog of pardons.
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