Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to pardon his son's pot conviction before leaving office
Governor Mike Beebe (Official photo)

Outgoing Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe formally announced his intention to pardon his son Kyle's 2003 conviction for marijuana possession with intent to deliver, Vox's Timothy Lee reports.

The announcement by Beebe starts the 30-day process in which concerned citizens are allowed to publicly comment on the proposed pardon. The state's Parole Board has already recommended Kyle Beebe be pardoned.

His son is not the first non-violent marijuana offender that Beebe has pardoned, but many are criticizing Beebe not pardoning more such offenders instead of focusing on his own son.

As he told the Washington Post about pardoning his son, "obviously, his mother and I are heartbroken like any parent would be," before adding that Kyle "needs to be treated like everybody else -- no better, no worse."

Beebe also said that any non-violent offender who "straightened up to get their life back on track," they deserved a "second chance," but did not indicate why he singled out his son -- and the 11 other convicts he chose to pardon -- instead of issuing a blanket pardon for all those convicted in similar circumstances.

All of the twelve pardons Beebe announced Friday were for drug-related convictions in which the offender had completed the required prison time and fulfilled his or her parole and probation requirements.