STATE OF MONTANA
Office of the Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer
PROCLAMATION OF CLEMENCY FOR MONTANANS CONVICTED UNDER THE MONTANA SEDITION ACT IN 1918-1919
WHEREAS, the emotional fervor surrounding the United States' entry into World War I led to the enactment of the Montana Sedition Act of 1918, ushering in one of the darkest periods in Montana's political history; and
WHEREAS, seventy-nine men and women were convicted of violating the Montana Sedition Act; and
WHEREAS, this act punished even the mildest forms of political dissent, thereby enforcing a unanimity of thought concerning the United States' involvement in the War; and
WHEREAS, nearly a century has passed since those convictions; and
WHEREAS, the 1972 Constitution recognizes the importance of free speech and expression and of participation in governmental affairs in a democracy in peacetime and in war; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Montana, determined in the 1972 Constitution to "secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations;"
WHEREAS, pursuant to Article VI, §12 of the Montana Constitution the Governor of Montana may grant posthumous pardons and the Montana Legislature has not established a procedure for the grant of posthumous pardons; and
WHEREAS, there is no time limitation for correcting injustice and clearing the names of honorable people;
By this Proclamation, I have extended and do extend a full and unconditional pardon from the offense of Sedition alleged to have been committed during 1918-1919 and from the conviction of Sedition and from all sentences, judgments, and executions thereon.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed my signature and caused the Seal of the State of Montana to be hereunto affixed this 3rd day of May, 2006, at Helena, Montana.
[Secretary of State's Attestation]