Pardons

Family photo via Jerry Aquino

Virginia’s parole board won’t say how many people have filed petitions for a pardon, but it appears the state is overwhelmed, with some individuals waiting years for an answer.  The situation has sparked complaints from families and lawyers statewide. 

Virginia begins this year with about 30,000 citizens behind bars.  Experts say 4 to 7 percent were wrongfully convicted, but state law makes it nearly impossible to get a new trial.  One of those who maintains her innocence is Trudy Munoz, a legal immigrant from Peru.

Just before leaving office, former Governor Terry McAuliffe pardoned six people serving time in Virginia prisons.  Sandy Hausman reports on why he decided to free them and why many others who asked for a pardon remain behind bars.