Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Grants Partial Pardons to Three Kentucky Women
FRANKFORT – Governor Ernie Fletcher today granted a partial pardon to three women whose sentences were commuted in 1995 by Governor Brereton Jones. Tracie English and Mary Ann Long were convicted of manslaughter, and Sherry Pollard was convicted of murder, but the women have claimed their actions were a result of domestic violence.
The women were three of 11 who received a commutation of their sentences on the last day of Governor Jones’ administration. The group has been profiled in the book “Sisters in Pain.”
In late 2005, Governor Fletcher asked the Kentucky Commission on Women to review all 11 cases and to make a recommendation to him on what additional action, if any, might be appropriate. The commission recommended that three of the women receive a partial pardon, which restores their right to vote and the right to run for elective office.
“We have examined in depth these case files, and the records going back to the Jones’ administration,” said Jim Deckard, general counsel for Governor Ernie Fletcher. “We’ve also heard from the families of the victims opposing any relief. These are difficult issues, but ultimately, it seemed clear to honor the work of the commission.”
“The Kentucky Commission on Women took very seriously the responsibilities in this process,” said Ann Rutledge, staff advisor for the commission. “Thousands of pages from case files, along with testimony from prosecutors and others involved, was invaluable in this work. I am proud of the commission’s review.”
All 11 will remain in the active files for consideration of gubernatorial pardon. Presently, nearly 350 persons have filed an application for a full gubernatorial pardon. More than 1,075 have applied for restoration of voting rights, and 841 have been granted.