Idaho governor grants 3rd pardon to drug offender turning his life around

Since becoming Idaho’s governor in 2007, C. L. “Butch” Otter has rarely utilized the state’s pardon process.

That’s when the state officially recognizes the progress of someone with a previous criminal offense.

Until last week, Otter had only granted pardon status to two offenders–both with drug charges.

By contrast, Washington’s Governor Inslee has granted almost 50 pardons in half as much time as governor.

But 49-year-old Larry Jasper’s story of redemption was compelling enough for Governor Otter to sign off.

Jasper spent time in an Idaho prison for methamphetamine and heroin charges.

When he got out, almost ten years ago, he only had a high school degree. Now, Jasper is a husband and father, with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a dream to become a licensed psychologist so he can help others who suffer from addiction.

But with a felony conviction, Jasper’s chances of getting a license to practice are low.

That’s why he applied for a pardon.

In his request to Idaho’s Commission of Pardons and Parole, Jasper said, “I am seeking a pardon in order to achieve my goal of becoming a licensed professional and to permanently break the destructive cycle of my past.”

When the commission looked at his case, it agreed.

“Mr. Jasper is an example of why a pardon process exists in Idaho,” said Sandy Jones, Executive Director of the Pardons & Parole Commission. “He demonstrates how rehabilitation can and should work. He has worked hard to change his life through recovery and education, and the commissioners are pleased to support his pardon.”

The request then went to the Governor’s desk where, his office says, he carefully studied Jasper’s story before deciding to give him the second chance he was asking for.

A pardon does not expunge criminal charges from a person’s record, but it does provide official acknowledgment of significant rehabilitation, which can open up new housing, education, and career possibilities.

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