Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is re-launching the state's pardons board after it was dormant for nearly a decade, saying he believes "in forgiveness and the power of redemption." 

The process, created under an executive order Evers signed Thursday, would allow those who were convicted of a felony in the state to apply for a pardon if five years have passed since their sentence was completed. 

Former Gov. Scott Walker didn't consider any pardons during his eight-year tenure. The state Constitution gives governors the power to grant them. 

"People who have taken responsibility for their mistakes and who have worked to improve their lives and communities deserve a second chance,” Evers said. 

The eight-member board Evers announced would be tasked with reviewing pardon applications and making recommendations to the governor about who deserves pardons.

Pardons restore certain rights to individuals, such as voting privileges, but they don't expunge or erase a conviction or record.

The panel will be chaired by Ryan Nilsestuen, Evers' chief legal counsel.

Other members include: Prison Ministry Project director Jerry Hancock; Milwaukee County Transit System Diversity and Inclusion director Nate Holton; and former Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Kremers, who was Attorney General Josh Kaul's nominee. 

Also on the board are former Department of Corrections Deputy Secretary Cindy O’Donnell; Department of Children and Families legislative adviser Nadya Pérez-Reyes; Menominee Indian Reservation vocational rehabilitation director Myrna Warrington; and former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray. 

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Briana Reilly covers state government and politics for the Cap Times. She joined the staff in 2019, after working at WisPolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter at @briana_reilly.