During his eight years in office, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe claims to have granted over 700 pardons, "especially young people with drugs if they've straightened up," he told KATV. Now, the outgoing Democratic governor will pardon his son for a crime he committed 11 years ago. “This is no different. It’s different because it’s my son,” Beebe said in an interview Wednesday.
Kyle Beebe, 34, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in 2003 when his father was the state’s sitting attorney general. Kyle was given three years of supervised probation in addition to having his driver’s license suspended and paying $1,150 in fines and court costs, according to an Arkansas television station.
According to Arkansas law, a parole board recommends individuals for pardon. After 30 days, the governor must decide whether to grant or deny pardon to that individual. The Arkansas Parole Board recommended Kyle for pardon on Oct. 20 and said the governor’s son “did not receive any special treatment by the board while his application was under consideration,” according to a statement from the board’s spokesperson.
“Mr. Governor, I am asking for a second chance at life. I am asking for a second chance to be the man that I know that I can be,” Kyle wrote in his pardon application to his father. “Eleven years have passed since that time and I can assure you that I have learned from my mistake.”
The two-term governor confirmed with KATV that he will grant his own son’s pardon, adding, “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.” Beebe said Kyle has grown up since his 2003 felony marijuana conviction.