Reggie Garcia, a clemency lawyer in Tallahassee, explains the current process.
"If it’s a non-violent offense you have to wait five years from the conclusion of prison or probation before you can apply for clemency. If it’s one of the 35 enumerated more violent felonies or more serious felonies, that waiting period is seven years," describes Garcia.
But that’s just the start.
"So, here now we have a hard five and seven-year hard deadline waiting period before you can apply [for restoration of rights], and then ... many years before your case either gets a hearing or is ruled on," explained Garcia. "So it’s in effect a second waiting period while you’re waiting a decision."
Garcia estimates about 24,000 cases are pending before the clemency board, and about half of those are for restoration of civil rights.
Read the full story at WFSU.