Man pardoned by Gov. Holcomb after wrongful conviction asks judge to expunge criminal record

ELKHART, Ind. — A Chicago man who spent more than eight years in an Indiana prison for a wrongful conviction and was recently pardoned now wants his record expunged.

Keith Cooper was pardoned in February by Gov. Eric Holcomb. His case gained national attention when then-Gov. Mike Pence declined to grant a pardon while waging a campaign for vice president in a contentious national election.

Cooper was convicted for a 1996 robbery in Elkhart, Indiana, during which a teenager was shot. He was released from prison in 2006 after a co-defendant’s conviction was overturned. However, the felony conviction remained on his record.

Attorney Elliot Slosar says the pardon gives Cooper the right to seek the erasure of his criminal record. Expungement of his case means his conviction would not show up on background checks for jobs and apartments.

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