Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a member of Florida’s Clemency Board, today issued the following statement regarding proposed clemency rules submitted by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
“For 14 months, I’ve called for new Clemency Board rules that, just like these, will swiftly restore rights for Floridians. This could have been done in our first week, and the delay has been a missed opportunity by the Cabinet. These draft rules from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition will eliminate the current backlog of Restoration of Civil Rights applicants, and prevent a future backlog. They are exactly the direction we need to go, so there should be no further delay. I’m urging the Governor and our Clemency Board colleagues to adopt these rules at our April 8 meeting, and begin once again restoring rights to those who have paid their debt to society. I also remain awaiting a response since January 15 from the Governor on the more than 600 applicants for Restoration of Civil Rights who are eligible without a hearing.”
Commissioner Fried has been a strong proponent of reforming Florida’s clemency rules, called “crushingly restrictive” and growing harder. She has repeatedly called for the adoption of new clemency rules automatically restoring civil and voting rights, through letters to her Clemency Board colleagues and town hall meetings across the state, and for clearing the backlog of 10,000 clemency applicants for restoration of civil rights.