Gov. Kelly commutes 5, pardons 3 convicted of crimes in Kansas

(Generic picture source: Pixabay)
(Generic picture source: Pixabay)(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has granted three pardons and five commutations to individuals convicted of crimes in Kansas.

Governor Laura Kelly says she has commuted the sentences of five inmates and granted pardons to three, all of which show strong signs of rehabilitation and the ability to safely re-enter society. She said the decision to grant the commutations and pardons was made after independent reviews by the Prison Review Board, Department of Administration and her legal team.

“We reviewed many applications, and, after a thorough determination process, these individuals met a clear set of criteria that demonstrates they have paid their debts to society,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Using the clemency power is not something I take lightly, nor is it the solution to the systemic issues in our criminal justice system. Instead, we’ll keep working towards commonsense reforms to save taxpayers money and offer pathways to prevent crime and to keep people out of the system in the first place.”

According to Gov. Kelly, she took numerous factors into consideration to decide if clemency was needed, including but not limited to the nature of the offense, demonstration of rehabilitation, whether the crime ad a victim and if so, the victim’s input, minimal criminal history, minimal disciplinary issues in prison and a strong indication of success upon release.

“One of the most consequential responsibilities we have as legislators is creating and adapting criminal penalties, and it’s one I have never taken lightly. These laws affect Kansans and their families for the rest of their lives. But — as we all know — hearts, circumstances, and people change,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes. “I applaud Governor Kelly and her team for their thoughtful review of these cases, and for her continued commitment to commonsense criminal justice reform. Our state is always better when we find opportunities to extend empathy and grace to our fellow Kansans.”

Gov. Kelly said Article 1, Section 7 of the Kansas Constitution and Kansas law grants her the authority to grant clemency. She said the individuals that will receive clemencies are as follows:

  • Joseph Agrillo, commutation, possession with intent to distribute marijuana
  • Chivonda Hall, pardon, DUI, two counts of driving while habutial violator, two counts of no proof of vehicle insurance
  • Dominic Holder, commutation, two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana
  • Joseph A. Jones, commutation, possession with intent to distribute a schedule I, II, III, IV drug, possession of paraphernalia with intent to manufacture and grow plants, aggravated battery
  • Xuan Hiep Le, pardon, aggravated robbery
  • Michael McCloud, commutation, aggravated robbery
  • Loren Thibodo, commutation, two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, obstruction of the legal process or official duty, criminal restraint, aggravated assault,
  • Joshua Townsend, pardon, possession of drug paraphernalia

According to the Kansas Reflector, Xuan Hiep Le now owns Le Construction Inc. and wanted a pardon in order to apply for U.S. Citizenship as he is a refugee from Vietnam. It said Hall’s pardon comes as she attempts to become a licensed nurse. Lastly, it said Townsend is now a sheriff’s deputy in Nebraska and wanted a pardon to further his career in law enforcement.

By law, Gov. Kelly said clemency applications in Kansas are required to be submitted to the Prisoner Review Board. She said the Board reviews all applications and creates a clemency file before further review.

Gov. Kelly said she encourages victims and survivors to reach out to the Office of Victim Services, which provides confidential support and information for victims, survivors or witnesses of a crime.

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