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Pardon Doesn't Clear Convict's Record: Court

First Posted: 04/19/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:10 PM ET

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Governors can issue pardons but they can't automatically clear a convict's criminal record, according to a new Illinois Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling involves pardons saying two men were innocent and could have their convictions expunged, or officially wiped away.

One pardon went to Stanley Howard, who was convicted of murder based on a confession that may have been obtained through torture. The other went to Dana Holland, who was convicted of rape but was later cleared by DNA evidence.

When they took steps to expunge their records, the courts said no.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that despite the governor's pardons, the courts ultimately decide whether to expunge convictions.

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Filed by Ben Goldberger  |