Governor Nixon has granted eight pardons, including one for Earnest Leap. Leap has been a registered sex offender for more than twenty years. His son, Brodie, says his mother pressured him to say he was molested by his father. The couple was in the midst of a custody court battle involving their two children.
Leap pled no contest with the promise that the record would be removed in three years, but in 1994 a federal law formed public sex offender registries and Leap was added.
“In the case of Earnest Leap, the information that has come to light more recently and the fact that he has been a law-abiding and productive member of society were compelling enough for me to grant a pardon,” said Nixon.
State Representative Jim Neely (R-Cameron) delivered a letter to Nixon earlier this year, with dozens of signatures from several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, requesting clemency and a pardon be granted to Leap.
Other pardons include:
Patricia Lane, who was placed on five years’ probation after being convicted in Audrain County in 1988 of two counts of passing bad checks. She received an early discharge from probation and has not been charged with any other crimes.
Jackie Vent, who was given a two-year term of probation after being convicted of possession of over 35 grams of marijuana in New Madrid County in 1980. Vent received an early discharge from probation and has not been charged with any other crimes since that time. He has served as a pastor at a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the past 34 years.
James Hardin, who received a one-year term of unsupervised probation after being convicted of stealing in Jasper County in 2007. He paid restitution for the stolen merchandise and has not been charged with any other crimes since successfully completing probation.
William Harrison, who pleaded guilty to a charge of passing a bad check in Franklin County in 1993. He paid full restitution and was given a five-year term of probation, which he successfully completed.
Leroy Kerns, who pleaded guilty to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia in Vernon County in 2004. He successfully completed a two-year term of probation.
Jerry Simpson, who pleaded guilty to stealing in Stoddard County in 1985. Simpson successfully completed a two-year term of probation and has not been charged with any other crimes.