Bill was convicted and imprisoned in a state (East Sconsin). He then moves to West Sconsin and wants to join the police. Felons are not allowed to serve as policemen.

Can the governor of West Sconsin pardon Bill, removing his felon status?

Must this be respected by the federal government or the other states?

2 Answers 2


Bill is not a felon in West Sconsin. It would depend on the specific law regarding felons serving as policemen if a felony committed in another jurisdiction prohibits them from serving.

Similarly, the word “pardon” means different things in different jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions it makes the conviction legally void (i.e. it never happened), in others it restores privileges that the conviction has taken away (i.e. you are still legally a convicted felon but the legal consequences of that status are suspended. Notwithstanding, the government of West Sconsin cannot pardon a conviction in another jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction is sovereign.


No. A governor has no authority under the law of another state. The governor of West Sconsin can no more pardon a conviction under the laws of East Sconsin than can the president of Mexico pardon a conviction under the laws of the United States.

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