Gov. Evers grants 17 pardons, bringing total to 174

    Gov. Tony Evers gives his State of the State speech 1/12/21 (screenshot via YouTube)
    Gov. Tony Evers gives his State of the State speech 1/12/21 (screenshot via YouTube)

    Gov. Tony Evers announced on Friday that another 17 pardons have been granted by his administration. The pardons were granted after the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually. So far, the Evers Administration has granted 174 pardons. Individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they’ve completed their sentence at least five years ago, and have not committed any new offenses.

    Evers hailed the pardons as an important step. “Pardoning an individual is a big step to allowing them to move on in their lives and continue to study, work, and contribute to their communities.” He added that, “with these 17 pardons, I am glad to continue the important process of listening to people’s stories, and giving those who have worked hard the ability to have a second chance.” Some of those pardoned were:

    • Carol Matthews: In her mid-twenties, while raising  a child as a single parent and laboring at a cleaning company, she failed to report her income while receiving government assistance.
    • Anton House: Was arrested twice while possessing an illegal substance in his late teens. Since then, he’s earned Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees and is a lecturer at Howard University. House also is a youth mentor in Bowie, Md. where he lives today.
    • Richard Dziondziakowski: During the 1960s, when he was a teenager, he entered two service stations illegally and stole cigarettes. Dziondziakowski recently retired from a career in masonry and construction. The pardon will allow a clearer path for him to become a U.S. citizen, a long-time goal of Dziondziakowski.
    • Eric Lonsdale was in his mid-twenties when he was caught growing cannabis. He is now an active community member in Fort Atkinson, where he lives with his family.
    • Dirmitrius Jackson was in his early twenties when he was caught in possession of illegal substances. He lives in Kenosha with his family and is hopeful his pardon will help advance his career.
    • Edward Lantvit was 36 years old when he was caught trying to buy an illegal substance. More than three decades later, he is now a small businessman and real estate appraiser with his son. He lives in Fremont and is a proud grandfather to 14 grandchildren.
    • Malcolm Wilson was in his early thirties when he failed to report income while receiving government assistance and FoodShare. He has since earned an associate’s degree and has been a lifelong resident and employee of the city of Milwaukee.
    • Sondra Gorham was struggling with a substance use disorder in her mid-twenties when she was caught in possession of illegal substances and driving under the influence. She has achieved her tenth year of sobriety with her family in Neenah and is diligently pursuing higher education.

    The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will next meet on April 9 and can be viewed on Wisconsin Eye. Applications, instructions, and other information on the pardoning process can also be found here.

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    Isiah Holmes
    Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, and other outlets.