Kelly grants clemency to 8 despite ‘political risk’

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Thursday she would commute or pardon the sentences of Michael McCloud and seven others based on an exhaustive review of more than 200 applicants for clemency.

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June 25, 2021 - 11:19 AM

Michael McCloud, who lives in Wichita with Patricia Stebbins, says his depression is gone now that Gov. Laura Kelly has granted his request for clemency. The 67-year-old faced the possibility of returning to prison for another 21 years. (FERNADO SALAZAR/ACLU OF KANSAS)

TOPEKA — Michael McCloud was overwhelmed with joy when he learned he wouldn’t have to return to prison for the rest of his life.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Thursday she would commute or pardon the sentences of McCloud and seven others based on an exhaustive review of more than 200 applicants for clemency.

“This is a very strange feeling,” McCloud said. “Tomorrow’s the first day of the rest of my life. The depression can be gone. You’re free to do what you want to do. You don’t have this hanging over you anymore.”

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