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SALT LAKE CITY — President Barack Obama pardoned a Colorado man Wednesday who was convicted of a crime in Utah nearly 18 years ago.
David Neil Mercer, of Grand Junction, pleaded guilty to violating the archaeological resources act in January 1997. A federal judge sentenced him to 36 months' probation and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine and $1,437 in restitution. His probation was terminated in April 1998.
Mercer is among 12 people Obama pardoned Wednesday.
A pardon is an expression of the president’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of a person's acceptance of responsibility for the crime and good conduct for a long time after completing the sentence, according to the Department of Justice website. It might be helpful in obtaining licenses or getting a job.
A person is not eligible to apply for a presidential pardon until a minimum of five years after being released from prison or probation.