Today the Union Leader is featuring an article about Cheshire County Department of Corrections Corporal Thomas Schoolcraft requesting to be pardoned for a string of burglaries he was involved in.
(The only uniformed law enforcement/corrections position that a convicted felon may hold in New Hampshire is county corrections officer. County corrections officers possess no arrest authority and may only use force to detain offenders brought to them by order of law enforcement agents or courts.)
In the article it appears that the reporter inquired with the Corporal about why he isn’t simply attempting to obtain a more common “annulment” for his offenses:
“Schoolcraft prefers a pardon to annulment for his convictions because he doesn’t want them to disappear from his criminal record.”
He “prefers” a pardon.
I presume that the Corporal knows precisely what his present impediment to advancement in New Hampshire law enforcement is: if he had his felony conviction annulled (not pardoned) he still could only serve as a county corrections officer.
New Hampshire Police Standards and Training rule Pol 301.05 (g) (2) specifically forbids certification of an individual who has committed a felony even if it was annulled. If you are a felon, you must receive a pardon to be eligible to serve as a certified law enforcement officer in New Hampshire.
Pol 301.05 Background Investigation. The following shall apply to the background investigation required on the applicant by the agency:
(g) The hiring authority shall evaluate the results of its background investigation and the agency shall not appoint or invest with authority an applicant who:
(2) Has ever been convicted of a felony by a civilian court or by a military court, whether or not the charge had been annulled nor whether a suspended sentence was completed, and for which he or she has never received a pardon;
If we as a society are going to forgive the Corporal for things he did that actually hurt people, how can we not simultaneously forgive all felons convicted of things that never hurt anyone? I’m sure he is a good guy working hard to now live a law-abiding life, but there are way too many “felons” in New Hampshire who (unlike Corporal Schoolcraft’s crime spree eight years ago) created zero victims.
Pardon him? Pardon them.