Heading into a holiday weekend, Gov. Pat Quinn granted clemency to 52 people for crimes that date back decades. He rejected another 136 requests.
Quinn is whittling away at a backlog of 2,500 requests that piled up under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Now in prison himself, Blagojevich rarely took any action on clemency.
Most of the people whose requests were granted Friday had committed relatively minor offenses. Twenty-five involved theft. Sixteen involved drugs. Eight offenses included some kind of violence, such as misdemeanor battery.
Among those granted clemency was Guadalupe Lopez, who was sentenced to 42 years in prison for drug-related offenses but who now suffers from a life-threatening illness, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The oldest incident took place in 1958, the most recent in 2005.
Since taking office, Quinn has acted on 1,923 clemency petitions, a statement from his office said. Quinn has granted 718 and denied 1205 petitions. Those actions include granting 701 pardons and authorizing 16 people who had already received pardons to seek expungement of their convictions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.