Inslee is pardoning some parolees

By on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is prepared to issue unconditional commutations for individuals on community supervision for certain drug possession convictions that have been invalidated by the Washington Supreme Court.

This new path of commutations follows February’s State of Washington v. Blake decision, in which the Washington Supreme Court declared the state’s simple drug possession statute unconstitutional.

“I am committed to doing what I can to try to remedy the situation and assist the courts who are doing what they can to get through this backlog of cases,” Inslee stated. “I want to thank the Washington State Department of Corrections and State Office of Public Defense for stepping up to help me provide clemency relief to eligible petitioners.”

There are currently over 1,200 individuals who remain on active DOC community supervision, solely for drug possession convictions held invalid by the Washington State Supreme Court in Blake. These individuals are now eligible to petition for a commutation through this new program, according to Inslee’s office.

The DOC has begun disseminating petitions to its community correction officers to share with eligible individuals, and DOC will pass those completed petitions to OPD, which will process the petitions and send along proposed orders for the governor’s signature. Since the first completed petitions arrived at the Office of the Governor, Inslee has already issued over 100 unconditional commutations, with additional orders being issued daily.