BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has issued pardons to two men who were convicted of peddling illegal drugs, served time in prison and are now turning their lives around on the outside. Monday's pardons for Robert Thornton and Eric Hinckley mark the first time Otter has used his authority to grant clemency to offenders.

It's also the first offender pardon since 2000 when Dirk Kempthorne was governor. Thornton is 57 years old and was convicted in 1992 for selling cocaine in Ada County. Hinckley is 37 years old and was charged in 2002 with selling methamphetamine in Idaho Falls.

Otter acted on the recommendation of the Idaho Commission for Pardons and Parole. He says both men are positive examples of how to embrace change and emerge from the state prison system.