Gov. Healey announces plans to issue 7 pardons

Gov. Maura Healey moved to pardon Glendon King (second from right) and six other individuals on a range of convictions that range in age from 17 years old to 57 years old. (Chris Lisinski/SHNS)
Gov. Maura Healey moved to pardon Glendon King (second from right) and six other individuals on a range of convictions that range in age from 17 years old to 57 years old. (Chris Lisinski/SHNS)

Less than six months after taking office, Gov. Maura Healey said she plans to exercise her executive power to pardon seven people of their crimes.

The Democratic governor announced her plans Thursday on WBUR's Radio Boston ahead of a press conference on the matter. The state Parole Board had earlier unanimously recommended clemency for all seven people. Their convictions span a range of crimes, including assault, arson and drug charges.

In a statement, Healey's office released the names of the individuals whose pardons she plans to advance to the Governor's Council for approval.

  • Edem Amet was convicted on drug distribution charges in 1995. Healey's office said Amet recently started a real estate investment firm, and his convictions have restricted his efforts to become a permanent U.S. resident.
  • Xavier Delvalle was convicted in 2006 on charges of breaking and entering and larceny; his convictions, Healey's office said, have prevented him from joining the military.
  • Glendon King was convicted of drug charges in 1992. He has worked as a Boston firefighter for more than 20 years and, according to Healey's office, aims to retire and move to Florida to work as a security guard.
  • John Latter was convicted of arson in 1966 and has not been able to obtain a nursing license in Florida because of his criminal record.
  • Deborah Pickard was convicted of several charges in the 1980s related to a substance use disorder. She now is a social worker in North Carolina.
  • Gerald Waloewandja was convicted of drug charges in 2003. He lives with his family in Maine and faces deportation.
  • Terrance Williams was convicted of assault charges in 1984 and works for the city of Boston and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department. His conviction has prevented him from getting work as a security officer, Healey's office said.

"These seven individuals have accepted responsibility for their crimes, which were often committed many years ago when they were young or suffering from challenging personal circumstances such as substance use disorder or abuse," Healey said in a statement. "They’ve taken productive steps to improve their lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities, but they still face barriers because of their distant criminal records. They shouldn’t have to spend one more day being held back from reaching their full potential."

Four of the people Healey hopes to pardon had committed their crimes before age 20. One person was 30 when he was convicted of drug possession.

Healey also told Radio Boston she will work to "modernize" her office's guidelines for executive clemency and will review future petitions "to better center them on fairness and racial and gender equity."

Healey's move to recommend pardons within her first year as governor stands in contrast to her predecessors, who waited until the end of their terms to do so. Executive clemency has been a sensitive issue in Massachusetts since the 1980s after Willie Horton committed crimes while on furlough, which became a national issue when former Gov. Michael Dukakis ran for president in 1988.

During his final year in office, Healey's predecessor, former Gov. Charlie Baker issued 15 pardons that were approved by the Governor's Council. Baker also recommended commutations for three men convicted on murder charges. It was the first commutation by a Massachusetts governor in eight years, and the first time in a quarter-century that a first-degree murder conviction was commuted in Massachusetts.

But after public backlash, Baker withdrew his requests to pardon Gerald Amirault and his sister Cheryl Amirault LeFave, who were convicted of abusing children at their family's child care center in Malden in the 1980s.

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Vanessa Ochavillo Associate Producer
Vanessa Ochavillo is an associate producer for WBUR focused on digital news.



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