Press Release

Press Release  Five Months into Office, Governor Healey Recommends Seven Individuals for Pardons

For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Massachusetts Parole Board

Media Contact   for Five Months into Office, Governor Healey Recommends Seven Individuals for Pardons

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — Governor Maura Healey today announced that she is recommending seven individuals to the Governor’s Council for pardons, making her the first Massachusetts Governor in more than 30 years to recommend pardons in her first elected year. It is also the most pardons recommended by a Governor in their first year in more than 40 years. Those recommended are Edem Amet, Xavier Delvalle, Glendon King, John Latter, Deborah Pickard, Gerald Waloewandja and Terrance Williams. 

“We are taking the extraordinary step of recommending pardons just months into the start of our administration because justice can’t wait,” said Governor Healey. “These seven individuals have accepted responsibility for their crimes, which were often committed many years ago when they were young or suffering from challenging personal circumstances such as substance use disorder or abuse. They’ve taken productive steps to improve their lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities, but they still face barriers because of their distant criminal records. They shouldn’t have to spend one more day being held back from reaching their full potential. We strongly believe that each of these individuals are deserving of a pardon so that they can pursue their dreams, remain united with their families and communities, and continue to serve our nation. Our administration views clemency as an important executive power that can help soften the harsher edges of our criminal justice system. We are currently working to modernize the state’s clemency guidelines to center fairness and racial and gender equity.” 

“Among those who Governor Healey is recommending for pardons include a veteran, firefighter, social work, nurse, cancer patient, and public works employee. They have dreams of joining the military or law enforcement. They have families and deep community ties,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “We are grateful to the Advisory Board of Pardons for their thoughtful recommendations and look forward to working closely with the Governor’s Council to advance justice and equality, and to make a real difference in the lives of these seven individuals and their loved ones.” 

The Governor of Massachusetts has the power to grant executive clemency for offenses violating state law, including both pardons and commutations, with the advice and consent of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council. A pardon is a forgiveness of the offender's underlying offense. The Advisory Board of Pardons first reviews all petitions for executive clemency and makes a recommendation to the Governor. The Governor then makes the ultimate determination on whether to proceed and grant the petition for executive clemency with the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council.  

Those being recommended for pardons are: 

Edem Amet: In 1995, at the age of 20, Amet was convicted of three counts of Distribution of a Class B Controlled Substance and three counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance in a School Zone in Hampden Superior Court. He was sentenced to one day in the House of Correction for the drug-distribution convictions and two years in the House of Correction on the School Zone violations. He’s held steady employment over the years and most recently started his own real estate investment firm despite battling prostate cancer. Amet is an immigrant who came to the United States as a young child, but his drug convictions have hindered his ability to become a permanent resident. Amet was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board. 

Xavier Delvalle: In 2006, at the age of 19, Delvalle was convicted of Breaking and Entering at Night with Intent to Commit a Felony, Possession of Burglarious Tools, and two counts of Larceny in 2006 in Waltham District Court and sentenced to probation. He now lives with his wife and two children in Fort Worth, Texas, obtained his GED, and is employed by American Airlines as a ramp fleet clerk. Over the years, he has given back to his community by volunteering at the Pine Street Inn, participating in a toy drive, and contributing to the Old Charlestown Schoolgirls Association to help the organization award six scholarships to college students. He wants to join the military and pursue a career as an aviation mechanic but is unable to fulfill this dream because of his past convictions. He was also previously denied from a job as a Corrections Officer in Boston due to his record. Delvalle was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board. 

Glendon King: In 1992, at the age of 30, King was convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Controlled Substance and Possession of Class D substance in Boston Municipal Court. He is now married with six children, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He graduated from Boston Latin Academy in 1980 and attended the University of Pittsburgh on a partial athletic scholarship. He then served in the United States Army and Army National Guard, and received an Honorable Discharge in 2001, after attaining the rank of First Lieutenant. Mr. King later joined the Boston Fire Department in 1999, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He is approaching retirement and plans to move to Florida and to work part-time as a security guard after he moves. King was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board. 

John Latter: In 1966, at the age of 19, Latter was convicted of arson in Middlesex Superior Court. He drove tractors for several years and then obtained his GED in 1985. After an injury at work, he attended Assabet Valley Vocational School in 1998 and became a Licensed Practical Nurse for 22 years in Massachusetts. He worked in several positions, including a post at Milford Meadows and Northborough Senior Center, and he also volunteered at Berkshire Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center. He retired in 2018, more than 50 years after his conviction, and relocated to Florida with his wife, where he attempted to obtain a nursing license to work and volunteer but was denied because of his record. He has been sober since 1992 and has three children, fourteen grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Latter was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board. 

Deborah Pickard: Pickard was convicted of several crimes while she was in her 20s between 1982-1987, including Assault and Battery upon a Police Officer, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Malicious Destruction of Property over $100, Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, and a Compulsory Insurance Violation, Disorderly Conduct, Possession of Class B and Class D Substances, Drinking Alcohol in Public, and Possession of a Class D Substance. She had grown up in a violent household where she witnessed and was the victim of physical abuse. She suffered from substance use disorder from an early age and turned to substances to cope with mental health challenges, including suicide ideation. She has been sober since 2001, received a master’s degree in social work and works as a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in substance use and trauma treatment. She lives with her family in North Carolina.  Pickard was unanimously recommended for conditional executive clemency by the Advisory Board of Pardons.  

Gerald Waloewandja: In 2003, at the age of 18, Waloewandja was convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class A Controlled Substance, to wit, Heroin, in 2003 in Lawrence District Court. This is his only criminal offense and was committed at a time when he was suffering from substance use disorder. He is now married with two children and lives in Maine, works and volunteers in the community, and is an active member of his church. He was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board.  

Terrance Williams: In 1984, at the age of 15, Williams was found delinquent of Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon in Brighton Juvenile Court and sentenced to probation and community service. The victim did not press charges and remains friends with Williams to this day. Williams has been employed at the Boston Water and Sewer Commission for approximately 33 years, and currently holds the position of Operations Manager. He also works part-time at the Suffolk County Sherriff's Department as a Civil Processor, a position he has held for approximately 15 years. Williams started an organization, the “Mighty Mission,” that takes local kids on trips outside of the city to play in basketball tournaments. Throughout his life, he has dreamed of being a police officer, but his delinquency finding has prevented him for doing so. He has also been denied six different times from a job at a private security company. Williams was unanimously recommended for executive clemency by the Parole Board and also has strong support from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. 

Statements of Support: 

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley 

“The power of clemency and redemption are profound, and this historic action by Governor Healey will help set these seven individuals—as well as their communities and loved ones on a pathway to healing. I’m grateful to the Healey Driscoll Administration for moving swiftly to recommend these pardons and urge the Governor’s Council to approve them without delay. Our mass incarceration crisis has exacted far too much harm, especially for our Black and brown communities, and exacerbated generational trauma, and we must use every tool available to address it head-on.” 

Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts 

“We’re grateful that Governor Healey is keenly alert to injustices in the criminal legal system. We commend the administration for beginning to use clemency as the important safety valve it’s designed to be, and hope the administration will make clemency a routine part of their work to increase justice and address inequities in the criminal legal system. We also look forward to working with the Governor to address front-end systemic injustices that result in racial disparities in policing, prosecution, sentencing, and over-incarceration.” 

Martin W. Healy, Chief Legal Counsel, Massachusetts Bar Association 

“Today we celebrate an unprecedented action by Governor Healey that clearly demonstrates her unwavering commitment to making our commonwealth’s justice system more equitable for all. These groundbreaking pardons by the Governor break the mold of previous administrations that largely exercised their clemency powers on a very limited basis and in the waning days of their administrations. We applaud Governor Healey for her courageous actions and focus on modernizing our justice system by making it more just for all citizens of the state.” 

Chinh Pham, President, Boston Bar Association 

“For nearly 250 years, the Massachusetts Constitution has invested in the Governor the authority to issue pardons as part of our structure of checks and balances, yet this critical element of a functioning justice system has fallen into disuse and neglect in recent decades. With proper oversight and transparency, pardons can bolster the rule of law by offering a safety valve to redress errors such as wrongful convictions or unjust sentences and to recognize and reward individuals for successful rehabilitation—which is, after all, one of the primary goals of criminal sentencing.” 

Elizabeth Sweet, Executive Director, MIRA Coalition 

“Far too often, immigrants suffer a double punishment in the criminal justice system. Individuals who have served their time learn that a past conviction will continue jeopardize their immigration status long into the future, regardless of how they contribute to their community. MIRA Coalition applauds Governor Healey's request for pardons for these individuals to avoid devastating immigration consequences for their families.” 

Devin McCourty, Retired Patriots Safety, 3x Super Bowl Champion, Social Justice Advocate 

“It’s an absolute pleasure seeing Governor Healey get straight to work. We often run into each other at events championing the idea for change. I’ve had the pleasure to witness William Allen being released; I’m so happy Governor Healey gets to experience the same feelings I did.” 

State Representative Kay Khan, State Representative Christine Barber and Executive Director at Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators Nora Bent

"As co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus Task Force on Justice involved Women and with the Executive Director of the Caucus of Women Legislators, it was an honor to have been invited to join the Governor and other legislators in today’s ceremony regarding the Administration’s request to the Governor’s Council for pardons of 7 individuals. It is powerful to see Governor Healey take a stand for what is right to create a more fair system. As the Governor said, 'justice delayed is justice denied' and we hope to see this effort towards a more equitable system continue throughout her administration."



Media Contact   for Five Months into Office, Governor Healey Recommends Seven Individuals for Pardons

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

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