What is Clemency?
Clemency is a way that someone can get their conviction thrown out after they have been convicted. It does not require someone to win at trial or even have their case dismissed. After someone has been sentenced, they can file for clemency and attempt to have their case dismissed a government authority. The clemency process requires a government agency generally the executive branch of government to decide whether or not to grant one’s petition. The president of the United States is the one who can grant clemency on Federal cases where as the governor of each state can grant clemency on state matters. If someone has been convicted of a state crime then the federal government has no authority to act on that case. No matter what the circumstances are, they can only act on Federal law cases.
Who can apply for clemency in Prison?
In order to be able to apply for clemency one needs to have been convicted of a crime and have had a final adjudication in the case. Generally this means that all appeals have been exhausted and there are no pending motions in the case. This is because clemency is supposed to be used only as a last resort. If someone can have their case reversed legally through the justice system, the government would prefer that that process be used. Clemency is often considered in Death Penalty cases after all appeals have been used and before the date of execution.
How did the term Clemency Originate?
The term clemency actually means “mercy” or “lenience”. It was not always a legal term. It originated in language as just to mean mercy on someone else. Once it was adopted as a legal term, the general meaning of the term vanished from common vocabulary. The idea behind clemency is not that one is saying they are innocent. It is instead one saying that because of the surrounding circumstances of their case, they should be released from prison. The circumstances could be anything from:
- A lack of evidence
- New evidence pointing towards innocence
- The defendant’s age
- The defendant’s health conditions
- Changes in previous law
Clemency Process for a Prisoner
The process of clemency varies from state to state. It also varies again if you are applying to the federal government. Generally each state will have applications on the Governor’s website and will give more information about the process. However, not everyone may be ineligible depending on the crime they pled guilty to. In California for example certain sex offenses make someone ineligible for clemency. This means that no matter what their circumstances are, they will never be able to have their petition granted. If you have an issue located in San Diego, California you should probably call the best San Diego expungement attorney for more help.
Trusted Prison Consultants Helping with Clemency Petitions
Our team at Trusted Prison Consultants has helped many people with clemency petitions across the United States. We have experience filling out the paperwork, drafting the motions, preparing clients for their hearings and in certain occasions even attending the hearings. This is something that can change your life forever. It is something that can clean up your criminal record and make it so that you never have to have this conviction burdening you in the future. If you have been charged with a crime and are researching doing a clemency petition, feel free to call our team for a free consultation about your case.