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Deval Patrick

O'Malley increases pardons, but remains stingy overall

O'Malley increases pardons, but remains stingy overall

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has rarely exercised his power to grant clemency to convicted criminals over his two terms, even as many gubernatorial counterparts have been more lenient amid a changing attitude toward these acts of mercy.

The Democratic governor has rejected nearly 1,300 cases that have come across his desk. Even after the General Assembly passed legislation intended to prod him to make a decision on requests for certain commutations, he has granted only 133 pardons over the past three years, according to a review of public records by The Baltimore Sun. In his first five years, he granted 13.

In contrast, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, granted clemency...