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Governor grants clemency to 2 in nonviolent crimes


Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. granted clemency yesterday to two men convicted of nonviolent crimes. Earlier in the month, he pardoned seven others who had been convicted of offenses ranging from shoplifting to assault.

Yesterday's clemency awards went to Melvin Burley, 51, who was convicted of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver in 1978; and Alcure Walker, 44, who was convicted of carrying a handgun in 1995.

Both had long since completed their sentences.

The earlier pardons, granted June 6, went to:

Timothy Branham, 40, convicted of breaking and entering in 1982;

Gary Cooper, 37, convicted of misdemeanor theft in 1988;

Claudio Ferrario, 42, convicted in 1986 of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and failing to stop to identify himself after striking attended and unattended vehicles;

Ronald Lent, 64, convicted of assault in 1962 and disorderly conduct in 1963;

Patricia Ray, 52, convicted of shoplifting in 1973; and

Tonya Roberts, 34, convicted in 1984 of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

A pardon does not remove a conviction from a person's criminal record, but Parole Commission Chairman David R. Blumberg said in a statement that those receiving pardons deserved recognition for having changed their lives.

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