Monday, November 10, 2014

Little Rock – Last week Governor Mike Beebe announced he intends to pardon 25 people convicted of various crimes, including Michael E. Jackson, a Level 2 sex offender convicted of internet stalking of a child in Faulkner County in 2008.

On Monday, Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “This is a troubling move by the governor. The county prosecutor and sheriff both have objected to this pardon. By ignoring their objections, the governor is basically saying he knows better than they do. That ought to give everyone a reason to pause.”

Cox said he is worried that the pardon could put children and families at risk. “In his application for the pardon, Mr. Jackson says he would like the opportunity to work with youth in the community. Mr. Jackson is already out of jail, and he is living as a registered sex offender. This pardon would effectively pave the way for him to be around children or families without anyone realizing he has a history as a sex offender. Part of the reason we have the sex offender registry is to prevent that very situation from happening.”

Public comments on the pardon will be accepted for thirty days before a final decision is made. Family Council is encouraging Arkansans to contact the Governor’s Office in Little Rock at 501-682-2345 and ask Governor Beebe to decline to pardon Michael E. Jackson.

“A pardon by the governor could put children and families in the community at risk,” Cox said. “That’s something none of us wants to see happen.”

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.