Minnesota Board of Pardons hearings represent a rare shot at a clean slate
One by one they adjusted the microphone, looked up at Minnesota’s governor, and unearthed memories they spent years trying to bury.
A man with long white hair apologized when his hearing aids didn’t pick up the sound, then recalled a day in the early 1980s when he crawled through the skylight of a laundromat and broke into the coin machine. A young woman wept with embarrassment, remembering how a J.C. Penney security guard stopped her and a group of college friends as they tried to slip out of the store with armfuls of clothes. A single mother who once used stolen grocery store gift cards to feed her children promised she was a changed woman, trying to help others avoid the same kind of desperate decisions that marred her life.