|MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers granted pardons this week to nine individuals. The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually on July 21, 2020. Applicants who the Board recommended for pardon were forwarded to Gov. Evers for final consideration.
“Pardons are more than just a signature on paper, they offer new opportunities, second chances, and forgiveness for folks who have bettered their communities and made amends,” said Gov. Evers. “I believe in second chances and in the positive impact pardons can have on our criminal justice system and communities, so I am glad to pardon these nine individuals.”
Gov. Evers granted pardons to the following people:
- Jason Ceslok, now 41, was 18 when he and friends stole a snowmobile from a dealership and took it joyriding. Ceslok is married with a daughter and has worked for Minhas Craft Brewery since 2005. He lives in Brodhead.
- Steven Dummer was 17 when he and his friends stole a vehicle from an auto dealership and took it joyriding. Now 64, he has maintained employment since and hopes to travel to Canada to fish. He lives in Watertown.
- Corey Dusso was only 16 years old when he and a friend took his friend’s mom’s car joyriding after drinking. They fled when an officer attempted to pull them over and drove into a ditch. Now 38 years old, Dusso lives in La Crosse.
- Heather Hafemann-Biles was in her early twenties when she was struggling with drug addiction and drove the getaway vehicle while her then-husband burglarized multiple residences. She went through treatment, is now sober, a mother of three, and currently works at a chocolate factory. She lives in Johnson Creek.
- James Jerrett, now almost 50 years old, was 17 when he stole alcohol from multiple establishments. He is now married, with children and grandchildren, and owns and operates a body shop, as well as several rental properties. He lives in Soldiers Grove.
- Willie Patterson Jr. was in his early twenties when stole from two employers. He went on to attend Milwaukee Area Technical College, is married with children, and has the support of recent employers who have vouched for his work ethic and honesty. He lives in Milwaukee.
- Danny Powers, now 66 years old, was 18 when he was convicted of robbery. He is retired after a lifetime of consistent employment, most recently with the State of Minnesota for 15 years, and is married with three kids and “a whole bunch of grandkids.” With a pardon, he would like to be able to travel to Canada to visit his wife’s family. He lives in Wadena, Minnesota.
- James Shurson sold marijuana to an undercover agent when he was 22 years old. Now 56, he owns his own business pumping septic tanks. He lives in West Salem.
- Corey Tielens, now 39 years old, was 20 when he committed a hit and run. He has since maintained employment and is a part-owner of rental properties. His career prospects would improve with a notary license, which he cannot obtain without a pardon. He lives in Green Bay.
The Wisconsin Constitution grants the governor the power to pardon individuals convicted of a crime. A pardon is an official act of forgiveness that restores some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony, including the right to serve on a jury, hold public office, and hold certain professional licenses. A pardon does not result in an expungement.
Under Executive Order #30, individuals convicted of a Wisconsin felony may apply for a pardon if they completed their sentence at least five years ago and have not committed any new crimes. Individuals currently required to register on the sex offender registry are ineligible for a pardon.
The pardon application and instructions for applying are located on the Governor’s website: www.evers.wi.gov/Pages/pardon-information.aspx.
The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will be reconvening again virtually on August 18, 2020.