The former governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, granted 53 “simple” pardons, three “absolute” pardons, eight “conditional” pardons and restored voting rights to over 1,300 felons in 2009. This was described in the local paper as a “flood.” I am unsure how 53 pardons in the sea of requests constitute a “flood,” except that it was relatively generous compared to his previous 3 years and compared to his predecessors. In addition to the 53 simple pardons, Gov. Kain granted 3 absolute pardons and 8 conditional pardons. Notable, too, was the governor restoring the voting rights of over 1,300 felons.
In Virginia, upon a conviction of a felony, the newly labeled felon loses his right to vote, in addition to other rights otherwise conferred upon citizens of the Commonwealth. In its zeal to keep any felon from participating in the political process, Virginia does not automatically restore a felon’s civil rights after he completes all punishment, whether such punishment is completing a jail sentence or probation. A convicted felon must beg the Governor to allow him to participate as a citizen by petitioning for the restoration of rights.
A restoration of rights restores the rights to vote, to run for and hold public office, to serve on juries and to serve as a Notary Public. However, it does not include the right to possess or transport any firearm or to carry a concealed weapon.