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Gov. Baker vows to submit new guidelines covering pardon, commutation requests in coming weeks


BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker says he's planning to submit new guidelines on pardon and commutation requests to the state board of pardons.

Baker has ordered the withdrawal of guidelines put into effect last year by former Gov. Deval Patrick intended to make it easier to appeal for clemency.

Baker told reporters Thursday that he viewed the decision as "standard operating procedure" for a new administration.

He said the withdrawal of Patrick's guidelines wasn't meant to be a comment on the former governor's regulations or policies.

Patrick's changes made commutations possible for those serving harsh sentences for nonviolent offenses and allowed pardons for those who could show they've made an extraordinary contribution to their community.

Baker said he expects to submit new guidelines sometime in the next few weeks.

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