‘A 2nd chance:’ Gov. Tony Evers grants pardons to 8 people

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 26: Tony Evers, Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin, speaks at a rally in support of Wisconsin Democrats at North Division High School on October 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Former President Barack Obama also spoke at the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

MADISON — On Sunday, Nov. 10, Governor Tony Evers issued pardons to eight people following the consideration of recommendations made by the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board after their hearing on Monday, Oct. 14.

“Pardons play a very important role in our criminal justice system and society by giving deserving folks a second chance,” Gov. Evers said. “For so many of these individuals, their past record has held them back from achieving personal or career goals, and I look forward to seeing how they use this second chance to give back to their communities and our state.”

According to a news release from the Office of the Governor, the following individuals were pardoned by Gov. Evers:

  • Dwight Allen, now 36 years old, is seeking a pardon for possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon convictions he received at age 22. Allen completed probation and now lives in Georgia with his wife, where he is currently living with advanced heart problems and is awaiting a heart transplant. He is seeking a pardon as he can no longer do his previous labor-intensive work, and would like to join his wife in the insurance business.
  • Cheryl Blazekovic, now 59 years old, is seeking a pardon for her role in stealing and selling hot tubs from a local business in 2004. She has completed probation and paid her restitution in full, and works as a paralegal. She is seeking a pardon to get her notary license, which her current and past employers believe is a necessity for her work.
  • Kathryn Morrow, now 36 years old, was struggling with a drug addiction at 23 years old when she broke into her parent’s home. Morrow completed probation, extensive rehabilitation, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and continues to work as a Prevention Education Specialist. Morrow is seeking a pardon so she can pursue a career in healthcare.
  • Mark Scharhag, now almost 53 years old, was caught selling marijuana at 33 years old and is now seeking a pardon. Scharhag completed probation and worked for the city of Milwaukee for 25 years as a heavy equipment operator. He retired in 2017.
  • Candace Roundtree, now 59 years old, failed to report income from a part-time job while receiving public assistance from ages 20-23. She completed probation, paid her restitution in full, and is now a sales manager and caregiver for her mother. She sought a pardon to advance her career opportunities.
  • Camillia Shareef, now 51 years old, is seeking a pardon for failing to report income which resulted in excess public assistance in her early twenties. Shareef completed probation, paid restitution in full, and has been a parking enforcement officer with the city of Milwaukee for 18 years. Shareef is seeking a pardon, as she has lived a law-abiding life, is respected by her community, and would like to pursue more career opportunities.
  • Doyle Sprewer, now 45 years old, is seeking a pardon for possessing THC with the intent to deliver 16 years ago. Sprewer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in religious-based education programs, and is currently employed as a community outreach coordinator with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Sprewer volunteers with the YMCA and Christ the King Baptist Church. He is seeking a pardon to improve his chances of being placed with the city of Milwaukee as a firefighter.
  • Annette Wilburn, now 65 years old, is seeking a pardon for failing to report income while receiving public assistance nearly 30 years ago. Her restitution is paid in full, and she is an active member of the childcare advocacy community and her church community. Wilburn is seeking a pardon to maintain her license as a home childcare provider.

Under Executive Order #30, people convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. People currently required to register on the sex offender registry are not eligible for a pardon.

The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not result in an expungement. A copy of the pardon application and instructions for applying are located HERE.

Wisconsin is one of 30 states where the governor has the exclusive power to grant pardons, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Restoration of Rights Project. In 10 other states, governors must first get approval from another entity, such as a pardons board.

Evers campaigned on the promise to reform the pardons board after his predecessor Scott Walker disbanded it and never issued a pardon over eight years.

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