PART I - EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
Submission of petition; form to be used; contents of petition.
Eligibility for filing petition for pardon.
Eligibility for filing petition for commutation of sentence.
Offenses against the laws of possessions or territories of the United States.
Disclosure of files.
Consideration of petitions; notification of victims; recommendations to the President.
Notification of grant of clemency.
Notification of denial of clemency.
Delegation of authority.
Procedures applicable to prisoners under a sentence of death imposed by a United
Advisory nature of regulations.
U.S. Const., Art. II, Sec. 2; authority of the President as Chief Executive; and
28 C.F.R. §§ 0.35, 0.36.
1.1 Submission of petition; form to be used; contents of petition.
seeking executive clemency by pardon, reprieve, commutation of sentence, or remission
of fine shall execute a formal petition. The petition shall be addressed to the
President of the United States and shall be submitted to the Pardon Attorney,
Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20530, except for petitions relating to
military offenses. Petitions and other required forms may be obtained from the
Pardon Attorney. Petition forms for commutation of sentence also may be obtained
from the wardens of federal penal institutions. A petitioner applying for executive
clemency with respect to military offenses should submit his or her petition directly
to the Secretary of the military department that had original jurisdiction over
the court-martial trial and conviction of the petitioner. In such a case, a form
furnished by the Pardon Attorney may be used but should be modified to meet the
needs of the particular case. Each petition for executive clemency should include
the information required in the form prescribed by the Attorney General.
1.2 Eligibility for filing petition for pardon.
for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a waiting period of at least
five years after the date of the release of the petitioner from confinement or,
in case no prison sentence was imposed, until the expiration of a period of at
least five years after the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally,
no petition should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised
1.3 Eligibility for filing petition for commutation of sentence.
for commutation of sentence, including remission of fine, should be filed if other
forms of judicial or administrative relief are available, except upon a showing
of exceptional circumstances.
1.4 Offenses against the laws of possessions or territories of the United States.
for executive clemency shall relate only to violations of laws of the United States.
Petitions relating to violations of laws of the possessions of the United States
or territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States should be submitted
to the appropriate official or agency of the possession or territory concerned.
1.5 Disclosure of files.
reports, memoranda, and communications submitted or furnished in connection with
the consideration of a petition for executive clemency generally shall be available
only to the officials concerned with the consideration of the petition. However,
they may be made available for inspection, in whole or in part, when in the judgment
of the Attorney General their disclosure is required by law or the ends of justice.
§ 1.6 Consideration of petitions; notification
of victims; recommendations to the President.
receipt of a petition for executive clemency, the Attorney General shall cause
such investigation to be made of the matter as he or she may deem necessary and
appropriate, using the services of, or obtaining reports from, appropriate officials
and agencies of the Government, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
a person requests clemency (in the form of either a commutation of a sentence
or a pardon after serving a sentence) for a conviction of a felony offense for
which there was a victim, and the Attorney General concludes from the information
developed in the clemency case that investigation of the clemency case warrants
contacting the victim, the Attorney General shall cause reasonable effort to be
made to notify the victim or victims of the crime for which clemency is sought:
a clemency petition has been filed;
(ii) That the victim may submit comments regarding clemency; and
(iii) Whether the clemency request ultimately is granted or denied by the President.
(2) In determining
whether contacting the victim is warranted, the Attorney General shall consider
the seriousness and recency of the offense, the nature and extent of the harm
to the victim, the defendant's overall criminal history and history of violent
behavior, and the likelihood that clemency could be recommended in the case.
the purposes of this paragraph (b), "victim" means an individual who:
suffered direct or threatened physical, emotional, or pecuniary harm as a result
of the commission of the crime for which clemency is sought (or, in the case of
an individual who dies or was rendered incompetent as a direct and proximate result
of the commission of the crime for which clemency is sought, one of the following
relatives of the victim (in order of preference): the spouse; an adult offspring;
or a parent); and
(ii) Has on file with the Federal Bureau of Prisons a request to be notified pursuant
to 28 CFR § 551.152 of the offender's release from custody.
the purposes of this paragraph (b), "reasonable effort" is satisfied
by mailing to the last-known address reported by the victim to the Federal Bureau
of Prisons under 28 CFR § 551.152.
provisions of this paragraph (b) apply to clemency cases filed on or after September
Attorney General shall review each petition and all pertinent information developed
by the investigation and shall determine whether the request for clemency is of
sufficient merit to warrant favorable action by the President. The Attorney General
shall report in writing his or her recommendation to the President, stating whether
in his or her judgment, the President should grant or deny the petition.
1.7 Notification of grant of clemency.
When a petition
for pardon is granted, the petitioner or his or her attorney shall be notified
of such action and the warrant of pardon shall be mailed to the petitioner. When
commutation of sentence is granted, the petitioner shall be notified of such action
and the warrant of commutation shall be sent to the petitioner through the officer
in charge of his or her place of confinement, or directly to the petitioner if
he/she is on parole, probation, or supervised release.
1.8 Notification of denial of clemency.
the President notifies the Attorney General that he has denied a request for clemency,
the Attorney General shall so advise the petitioner and close the case.
in cases in which a sentence of death has been imposed, whenever the Attorney
General recommends that the President deny a request for clemency and the President
does not disapprove or take other action with respect to that adverse recommendation
within 30 days after the date of its submission to him, it shall be presumed that
the President concurs in that adverse recommendation of the Attorney General,
and the Attorney General shall so advise the petitioner and close the case.
1.9 Delegation of authority.
General may delegate to any officer of the Department of Justice any of his or
her duties or responsibilities under §§ 1.1 through 1.8.
1.10 Procedures applicable to prisoners under a sentence of death imposed by a
United States District Court.
procedures shall apply with respect to any request for clemency by a person under
a sentence of death imposed by a United States District Court for an offense against
the United States. Other provisions set forth in this part shall also apply to
the extent they are not inconsistent with this section.
in the form of reprieve or commutation of a death sentence imposed by a United
States District Court shall be requested by the person under the sentence of death
or by the person's attorney acting with the person's written and signed authorization.
(b) No petition for reprieve or commutation of a death sentence should be filed
before proceedings on the petitioner's direct appeal of the judgment of conviction
and first petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 have terminated. A petition for
commutation of sentence should be filed no later than 30 days after the petitioner
has received notification from the Bureau of Prisons of the scheduled date of
execution. All papers in support of a petition for commutation of sentence should
be filed no later than 15 days after the filing of the petition itself. Papers
filed by the petitioner more than 15 days after the commutation petition has been
filed may be excluded from consideration.
petitioner's clemency counsel may request to make an oral presentation of reasonable
duration to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in support of the clemency petition.
The presentation should be requested at the time the clemency petition is filed.
The family or families of any victim of an offense for which the petitioner was
sentenced to death may, with the assistance of the prosecuting office, request
to make an oral presentation of reasonable duration to the Office of the Pardon
proceedings may be suspended if a court orders a stay of execution for any reason
other than to allow completion of the clemency proceeding.
one request for commutation of a death sentence will be processed to completion,
absent a clear showing of exceptional circumstances.
provisions of this § 1.10 apply to any person under a sentence of death imposed
by a United States District Court for whom an execution date is set on or after
August 1, 2000.
1.11 Advisory nature of regulations.
contained in this part are advisory only and for the internal guidance of Department
of Justice personnel. They create no enforceable rights in persons applying for
executive clemency, nor do they restrict the authority granted to the President
under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.
Published in the FEDERAL REGISTER of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, October 18, 1993, Vol. 58, No. 199, at pages 53658 and 53659; as amended by a publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, August 8, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 153, at page 48381; and as amended by a publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER of the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, September 28, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 189, at pages 58223 and 58224, 28 CFR §§ 1.1 et seq. See also 28 CFR § 0.35