So where will governor-elect Rauner be on the spectrum? Based on recent statements, he should land closer to Quinn than to Blagojevich. In an editorial by the The State Journal-Register, in which they call for continued action on the clemency backlog, the paper states that governor-elect Rauner “intends to make clemency and pardon decisions a priority for his administration.” Rauner’s spokesman, Mike Schrimpf, recently told the The State Journal-Register, “(Rauner) will thoughtfully review requests for clemency and implement a fair process for all parties involved.”
We expect Rauner to hold true to this promise while in office. It is encouraging to hear that he understands that the executive clemency power, which is a responsibility imposed by the Illinois Constitution, is one that should be used to help the rehabilitated people of this State. Obviously, words are meaningless unless his actions follow up on them. However, at least we know that he appreciates the importance of the pardon power and that he holds the livelihoods of many individuals in his hands.