The Pardon Project of York County and its community partners will present an exclusive screening of the documentary Pardon Me on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The free event will take place at the Capitol Theatre, at 50 N. George St. in York. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the film begins at 6 p.m., followed by a panel discussion moderated by York County District Attorney David Sunday. Panelists include filmmaker Shuja Moore, The Honorable William R. Carpenter, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, pardon recipients, C. Reginald “Reggie” Johnson Esq., David Bryant, and pardon fellows DaShawn Harrison and Laurie Besden.
Light refreshments will be available prior to the film, and while the event is free, advance registration is required, which can be done online.
Directed and produced by Shuja Moore, the documentary sheds light on the transformative power of pardons, not only providing individuals with the chance to lead fulfilling lives but also positively impacting lower-income communities.
In Pennsylvania, a pardon is an act by the governor which erases convictions from acriminal record and is the only way that felony and misdemeanor convictions can be eliminated.
"We want to raise awareness about the issue which holds people back from being integrated back into society. This is a community problem," said Victoria Connor, CEO of the York County Bar Association/York County Bar Foundation. "When you have a criminal record, you're not able to get into government-funded housing, vote, in some cases, and can face unlawful discrimination regarding employment opportunities. This prevents people from providing a good source of living for themselves and their families."
The film narrates compelling stories of two individuals navigating the pardon process in Pennsylvania, with one of them having already received a pardon.
It also includes insightful interviews with thought leaders such as Jeff Hornstein, head of The Economy League, and Brandon Flood, former Secretary of the PA Board of Pardons.
The event was made possible through the support and collaboration of sponsors including the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, the York County Bar Foundation, The Powder Mill Foundation, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Impact Academy, Fresh Start Law, and York County Community Foundation, and community partners: The Pardon Project of York County, the York County Bar Association and Bar Foundation, The Program, “It’s About Change,” the Office of the District Attorney of York County, the York County Clerk of Courts, the York County Economic Alliance, and the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity.
This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: York County PA Pardon Project hosts 'Pardon Me' documentary screening