Outgoing Arkansas Governor Will Pardon Son's Drug Conviction

Governor Mike Beebe said he would have issued the pardon earlier, but his son didn't ask.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

If you can't pardon your own son, who can you pardon?

Outgoing Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe is set to follow the recommendations of the state's parole board and issue a pardon for his son, Kyle Beebe, who was convicted 11 years ago of marijuana possession with the intent to deliver, according to Little Rock's KATV.

The governor, who was state attorney general when his son was arrested and convicted, said his son has “grown up a lot,” according to the report.

“Kids, when they’re young, do stupid stuff,” he said. “He was no different.”

Kyle Beebe, 34, reportedly is married and the father of two daughters, and completed his probation in 2006. He wrote a letter to the parole board and his father asking for the pardon.  

“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," Kyle Beebe wrote, according to the report, adding, “Eleven years have passed since that time and I can assure you that I have learned from my mistake.”

The governor said that if not for his son's own pride, he would have pardoned him sooner. 

“I would have done it a long time ago if he'd have asked, but he took his sweet time,” Beebe said, according to the report. “He was embarrassed. He's still embarrassed, and frankly, I was embarrassed and his mother was embarrassed.”

Instances of governors and presidents pardoning their own family members are rare, but in 2001, outgoing President Bill Clinton issued one to his half-brother Roger, who had been convicted on cocaine-related charges.

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