Blunt Grants Christmas Pardons

Gov. Matt Blunt gave the kind of Christmas gift Sunday that only a governor can give.

Blunt announced his decision to pardon Alicia Allison-Brown, Jesse Barnes, James Birdwell, Sr., Craig Johnson, Robert Jordan and Carl Smart, who all were convicted of non-violent offenses years ago and have since, according to Blunt, become and remained law-abiding citizens.

None of the people pardoned were currently in prison and several of them committed their crimes decades ago and were only sentenced to probation, which they have long ago completed.

More from the governor’s office on the people who were pardoned:

In 1990, at the age of 23, Alicia Allison-Brown was convicted of stealing. She was sentenced to four years probation and 120-day shock incarceration. Ms. Brown applied for pardon in 2005. Ms. Allison-Brown is married with one child. She is a member of FEMA Missouri Task Force I, serving as a Canine Search Specialist and trained in Tech Rescue

In 1961, at the age of 24, Jesse Barnes was convicted of 2nd degree arson. He was sentenced to three years in prison and paroled after serving five months. He successfully completed his parole. Mr. Barnes applied for pardon in 2006. Mr. Barnes is a self-employed and professional painter. He has been married for 40 years and has three children as well as grandchildren.

In 1963, at the age of 20, James Birdwell, Sr., was convicted of malicious destruction of property. He received a one year suspended sentence and two years of probation. Mr. Birdwell applied for pardon in 2003. Mr. Birdwell has owned a small construction business for nine years and previously worked for the Kansas City Star for more than 10 years. He has been married for 45 years and has five children and 17 grandchildren

In 1985, at the age of 19, Craig Johnson was convicted of the crime of stealing. He was sentenced to three years probation. Mr. Johnson applied for pardon in 2004. Mr. Johnson is a minister and chaplain in the U.S. Army where he has achieved the rank of Captain. He served in the first Gulf War where he received numerous decorations and awards.

In 1990, at the age of 21, Robert Jordan was convicted of the crime of stealing. He was sentenced to two years probation. Mr. Jordan applied for pardon in 2003. Mr. Jordan and his wife have three children and serve their community as Emergency Medical Technicians.

In 1980, at the age of 28, Carl Smart was convicted of 2nd degree arson and deceitful stealing. He was sentenced to five years probation, which he completed successfully. Mr. Smart applied for a pardon in 2004. Mr. Smart is a Navy veteran and has worked for the United States Postal Service for 30 years. He is married with three children and one grandchild.

“Ms. Allison-Brown, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Birdwell, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Smart have paid for their mistakes,” said Gov. Blunt. “It is my hope and belief that they will continue to be productive citizens.”

Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board unanimously recommended that a pardon be issued in all cases. Local law enforcement were not opposed to the four receiving a pardon. In addition each person receiving a pardon has support from their local community, including elected officials, religious leaders, community leaders or neighbors.

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