Request Victim Advocacy - Clemency

OVA offers support to victims/survivors participating in the clemency process.   

Office of Victim Advocate

Victim Advocacy - Clemency 

OVA provides support and accompaniment to you if you chose to provide comments to the Board of Pardons (BOP) during the clemency process.

There are two types of Clemency: 

  1. A pardon is like a clean slate, as if the individual was never convicted of a crime.
    •  A pardon does not expunge the offenders record, but it some cases it makes expungement possible. 
  2.  A sentence commutation is when a  sentence is commuted or changed. 
    • A life sentence communtation is when a life sentence is commuted or changed to serve the remainder of the sentence on parole.
    •  A minimum reduction commutation is when a minimum sentence date is reduced a making a person eligible for parole review at an earlier date.  

A life and a minimum reduction sentence commutation can only be granted by the Governor.  

All clemency recommendations are sent to the Governor for approval. 



Victim Advocacy - Clemency Hearings

If you are a victim/survivor/next of kin for a case where an offender has made an application for clemency consideration, OVA will accompany you and walk you through each step of the process.  

As a victim/survivor/next of kin, you are not required to participate in the clemency process. The level of your participation is completely up to you.  

Types of Clemency Hearings:

Merit Review: OVA will notify victims/survivors/ or next of kin when an offender is eligible for merit review. The District Attorney, and the Board of Pardons may also contact victims of the crime.  

Merit review determines which cases will move forward to the public hearing process. 

OVA will notify the victims/survivors/next of kin as to the outcome of the merit review.


Public Hearing : During the public hearing process, victims/survivors/next of kin have the opportunity to provide comments on their position of an application. 

Victim/survivor/next of kin will be notified by OVA as to the outcome of the public hearing.  


Victim/Survivor Input Options:

In Person Comments: Victims/survivors/next of kin may choose to provide comments in person at the public hearing.  An OVA advocate will help you prepare the comments and accompany you to the hearing.   

Confidential Comments: A Victim/survivor/next of kin may want to provide comments to the board outside of the public hearing. An OVA advocate will help you prepare the comments and provide them directly to the board for review.  

Additional Resources

If you or your family are considering speaking with the media, check out our Speaking to the Media Guide. 

Contact OVA for Clemency Support

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Mon.-Fri. 8:00am-4:30pm


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