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In contrast with predecessor, Easley grants few pardons

RALEIGH (AP) -- Every year, a flood of pardon requests arrive in the office of Governor Mike Easley. And every year, almost all are denied. Since taking office in 2001, Easley has pardoned just five people. All were sentenced to prison for crimes committed by another. By comparison, former Governor James Hunt pardoned more than 200 people during his eight years in office. Among the many seeking a pardon are people convicted of felonies who want to return to North Carolina's wilderness to hunt. By federal law, felons are not allowed to own, use or handle any type of firearm. Easley is silent on the matter of pardons. His office says only that the governor considers each application on its own merits. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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