I have achieved... "nothing"... time for a party!
- Back in October of 2006, I wrote:
In the next few weeks, I'll be applying for clemency again, with a
Democratic governor who has already granted a few pardons.
When I actually began working with my attorney, Marc Sussman, to gather the
materials for the pardon, we were both a bit startled to notice that it had
been 10 years since the conviction. And under Oregon law, this meant that I
was now eligible for an expungement, rather than clemency. We quickly shifted
gears to getting the necessary fingerprints (one more time) and affidavits
signed, and then waiting the few months for the result. (While the process is
a fairly mechanical one, there were still some possible snags.)
I'm happy to announce that the expungement order was signed effective 1 Feb
2007. That is, as of this date, if someone asks me "have you ever been
convicted of a crime?", my fully legal answer to any and all concerned is a
resounding, "no". (This is similar to what happens to someone's juvenile
convictions as they become an adult. For all intents and purposes, the crimes
simply no longer exist.) The PDF of the "order to set aside" is already up on
the FORS website (http://www.lightlink.com/fors/); thanks to Steve Pacenka for
putting that up quickly. Thus, I am announcing, "nothing".
Even a few weeks later, I'm still in a bit of shock that I've reached this
point in this over-13-year journey. It probably won't fully sink in until the
first time I travel freely into Canada, or fill out an contractor form that
asks the question about criminal history, or apply for a Small Business
Administration program that was formerly unavailable to me.
I don't have my gun possession rights restored yet, but apparently that's
merely a formality with the BATF, and I'll be taking care of that soon. And
to everyone who keeps asking about "voting rights too?", Oregon is not one of
the four states that take away voting rights from felons, so that was never an
Legally, the slate is clean. Of course, this does nothing to change the minds
of anyone who knows what "really" happened, so I'll still have prejudicial
action taken against me, both known and unknown. I can't change what people
know to be true. :)
I will still speak to user groups and conferences about my experiences upon
request. But I've started the process of removing "I'm a felon" from my
natural vocabulary, and from my on-line presence. I think the time for my
personal healing has arrived.
Speaking of personal healing, if you are (or can be) in the Portland Oregon
area on Saturday, March 17th, 2007, I'll be holding a small completion party
of sorts. Details are at <http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddc2kdgd_0g57ns2>.
Feel free to pass that invitation along to your friends and mailing lists that
I might have missed.
As the mailing lists at Yahoo have basically been idle for a few years, I'll
soon be shutting them down as well. I'll make sure that the messages are
archived on the FORS site.
To my friends, thank you for all of your assistance. I would not have made it
To my supporters, thank you for standing with me, and for spreading the word.
To my detractors, thank you for keeping me honest.
And now, on to the next battle...
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See PerlTraining.Stonehenge.com for onsite and open-enrollment Perl training!