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Outgoing Arkansas governor to grant son pardon for 2003 drug conviction |

Outgoing Arkansas governor to grant son pardon for 2003 drug conviction

The Los Angeles Times

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he will pardon his son, Kyle, in connection with a felony drug conviction from more than a decade ago.

The Arkansas Parole Board recommended the pardon of Kyle Beebe, now 34, last month. He was convicted in 2003 for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and sentenced to three years’ probation. According to parole board documents, police found two ounces of marijuana in Beebe’s home.

He completed his probation in 2006, and, his father said Wednesday, has learned from his mistake.

“He’s grown up a lot,” the elder Beebe told Arkansas TV station KATV. “Kids, when they’re young, do stupid stuff. He was no different.”

In a letter to the parole board and the governor, Kyle Beebe said he’s changed: “I was young and dumb. At that time in my life, I felt like I was missing something and I tried to fill that emptiness by selling drugs. … Eleven years have passed since that time and I can assure you that I have learned from my mistake.”

He noted that he’s now a husband and “proud father of two little girls.”

“I’m asking for a second chance at life. I am asking for a second chance to be the man that I know I can be,” he wrote.

The governor’s office said he has issued hundreds of pardons during his time in office, and that his son’s pardon does not constitute special treatment. The governor intends to pardon nearly a dozen people with similar drug offenses, according to a list posted last week.

“If you took his son’s name off the file, it would look like a lot of other people the governor has issued pardons to, as well … people who committed nonviolent crimes as a first offense when they were young,” said Matt DeCample, the governor’s spokesman.

DeCample noted that as with many other pardon cases, Kyle Beebe has completed all his sentencing requirements and has not been in trouble with the law since.

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