As governor of Indiana, Mike Pence refused to pardon a man who was proven innocent of all accused crimes.
Keith Cooper was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit 20 years ago, and he patiently waited three years for then-Indiana Gov.
Mike Pence to use his executive power to issue a pardon and remove the mark from his record, to no avail. On Thursday, Pence’s replacement, Republican Eric Holcomb, got the job done.
The Washington Post reports that Cooper, 49, was convicted of armed robbery in 1997, and Holcomb said Thursday that he was pardoning Cooper for a crime of which he was innocent.
“I am very much at peace pardoning him,” Holcomb said at a news conference. “I believe he is innocent of that crime.”
Holcomb pardoned Cooper for the armed robbery conviction, but not a battery conviction for which he also asked for a pardon, according to the IndyStar. Of the battery charge, to which he pleaded guilty, Cooper said that he was defending himself against another inmate while in jail for the robbery charge.