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Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is planning to pardon his son for a felony drug charge from more than a decade ago. Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the Democratic governor, told the Associated Press that the pardon would be among a set issued by Beebe next month. “For any pardons the governor does the person has to have finished all terms of their sentence … and then had a period of time where they’ve shown they have straightened their lives out,” said Matt DeCample.
Back in 2003, Kyle Beebe, now 34 years old, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with intent to deliver. In an interview, Gov. Beebe said Kyle had matured a lot over the years: “I would have done it a long time ago if he’d have asked, but he took his sweet time about asking. He was embarrassed. He’s still embarrassed, and frankly, I was embarrassed and his mother was embarrassed. All of the families that go through that, it’s tough on the families, but hopefully the kids learn,” Beebe said.
Beebe told KATV that he’s done more than 700 pardons during his time as governor, mostly for nonviolent offenders. Beebe was first elected governor in 2006 and will leave office at the end of this year because of term limits. He will be succeeded by Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman and Drug Enforcement Administration administrator.
“Kids, when they’re young, do stupid stuff. He was no different,” Beebe told KATV in an interview published online. “If they’ve straightened up, to get their life back on track and have a second chance, so this is no different. It’s different because it’s my son.”
Kyle Beebe completed his probation in 2006. On Oct. 20, the Arkansas Parole Board recommended that he be pardoned. A pardon may restore rights that had been revoked by the felony conviction, including the right to bear arms, according to the Arkansas governor’s website.
In his petition for a pardon, Kyle Beebe said that he was “young and dumb” when he decided to sell drugs. “At the time of my arrest I was living in a fantasy world, not reality,” he wrote. “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. I am asking for a second chance to be a better son to my parents and prove to them that I am the person they raised me to be.”