Civil rightsGovernorNewsPublic Safety

Hickenlooper grants clemency to 17, upping total pardons to 40

Author: Joey Bunch - March 29, 2018 - Updated: March 29, 2018

foster childrenColorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sits for an interview in his office on Sept. 27. (Photo by Andy Colwell/Colorado Politics)

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Thursday he has granted clemency to 17 people.

None of the offenders is politically prominent and most of the offenses are relatively minor, including drug charges, burglaries and other such offenses. The governor offered clemency to an offender who committed crimes as a juvenile, as well as a husband and wife from Larimer County. All of them have completed their sentences, paperwork indicates.

Clemency is a constitutionally authorized executive act of “extending mercy” to a person who has committed a crime. Hickenlooper’s decision amounts to a pardon that restores civil rights.

“Of the hundreds of applications for pardons my office has received over the years, yours is one of the few I am granting,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to each of the offenders.

“I am doing so because you have demonstrated your commitment to moving past your criminal history and starting anew, while taking with you the lessons you have learned throughout your life.”

Since taking office in 2011, Hickenlooper has pardoned 40 people out of 170 requests his office has reviewed. His office said the decision is based on “lengthy deliberation, extensive review of the materials provided, and careful consideration of input from victims, judges, prosecutors and others.”

“Clemency is one of the most difficult issues a governor faces,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “It’s a sobering task of significant consequence.

“We recognize the impact these crimes have had on others and this decision in no way lessens that. Those who apply for clemency are looking for the chance to continue contributing to their families and communities in meaningful ways. These 17 people have earned the opportunity for a second chance.”

Those granted clemency, the charge, year of the offense and the county are:

  • Curtis D. Aude, conspiracy to commit possession and distribution of marijuana, 1986, El Paso County.
  • James Benavidez, felony burglary, 1963, La Plata County.
  • Traci Brigham, distribution of a controlled substance, 1991, Larimer County.
  • Derrick Broadfield, second-degree burglary, 1984, El Paso County.
  • Bruce F. Bryan, felony burglary, 1969, Larimer County.
  • Michell B. Cabaniss, 1990, criminal attempt to commit the sale of a controlled substance, Larimer County.
  • Justin T. Campbell, 2005, first-degree criminal trespassing, Adams County.
  • Brian J. Clear, 1994, criminal mischief, second-degree burglary, criminal attempt to extreme indifference to murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft, aggravated juvenile offender, violation of bail bond and menacing with a deadly weapon, Mesa County.
  • Dennis C. Hiser, 1989, attempted distribution of a controlled substance, El Paso County.
  • Frank P. Maez, 1998, possession of a controlled substance, Adams County.
  • Patrick Noel, 1994, possession of a controlled substance, Larimer County.
  • Julie D. Schlitz, 2003, possession of a controlled substance, El Paso County.
  • Pamela Scott, 1978, second-degree assault, Larimer County.
  • Tisha M. Sjostrand, 1998, possession of 8 ounces or more of marijuana, Jefferson County.
  • Dustin R. Weaver, 2003, misdemeanor assault, Larimer County.
  • Janeah Weaver, 2003, misdemeanor harassment, Larimer County.
  • Cindy K. Williamson, 1992, possession of a controlled substance, Adams County.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.