ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York state has established a clemency website for those seeking pardons, reprieves or commuted sentences to get background information and file requests.
The governor has the authority to grant them under New York's constitution and executive law.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned two New York City men last week. They had completed their prison sentences, earned college degrees, started businesses and helped nonprofit agencies. But they faced possible deportation because of their felony convictions.
Cuomo has granted five pardons in four years. He notes that applications dropped from 1,269 in 2010 to only 171 last year.
His office describes qualified candidates as those who don't have a significant criminal history, have served at least half their minimum sentences, and have shown good conduct in prison and significant rehabilitation.
The good news here is, Cuomo considers all teachers criminals, so we'll be eligible for the clemency program under the revision of the APPR teacher evaluation system he plans to push through this legislative session.
The bad news is, Cuomo pardons even fewer criminals than George W. Bush so the chances of a teacher getting a pardon are, well, slim.
Still, can't hurt to get the paperwork in.
Remember, Cuomo won't be governor forever.
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