In what is typically a politically risky move, six state governors recently granted pardons and commutations to hundreds of current and former prisoners. In California, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Arkansas and Vermont, more than 500 pardons were granted along with another 20 commutations or grants of clemency.
In January 2017, outgoing Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin pardoned 192 people convicted of non-violent marijuana offenses. The state decriminalized marijuana in 2013 but has yet to legalize it. According to Shumlin, the collateral consequences of a minor drug conviction are severe and in some cases unwarranted.