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Demand for pardons creates backlog

Rich Cholodofsky of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analyzed applications for pardons dating to 2000 and found that as the country's security concerns increased in the wake of 9/11, along with intensified background checks implemented in the late 1990s as a result of the Brady Bill, the number of people seeking to have records of criminal convictions cleared has grown significantly. "In the last five years there have been more than 2,900 applications for clemency filed with the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. The board has reviewed about 1,900 cases, and Pennsylvania governors have granted relief in about a third of those filings. " According to the analysis, the pardons board has recommended relief in just five of 11 cases involving inmates who were sentenced to life in prison. The demand for pardons in Pennsylvania in recent years has created a backlog of more than 820 cases.

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