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Press Release

The Office of the Pardon Attorney Releases New Presidential Pardon Application

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Office of the Pardon Attorney (Pardon) today released a new version of its application for presidential pardons. The new pardon application is the culmination of a year-long collaboration with the Office for Access to Justice (ATJ) to make the application more user-friendly and accessible. A pardon can help those who have completed their federal sentences receive relief from the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.

Pardon and ATJ engaged with applicants, stakeholders and advocates to receive and incorporate their valuable feedback. Pardon and ATJ used a people-centered approach and best practices in form design to align with access to justice principles and research. The revisions are part of a department-wide effort to expand access to justice by simplifying public-facing forms and documents, consistent with the recommendations described in the 2022 and 2023 Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable Reports.

Notable changes to the pardon form include:

  • Eliminating the requirement for notarized signature pages, to reduce the burden on applicants and their character references;
  • Asking for less information about applicants’ histories, to streamline the application and make it easier to complete;
  • Reducing legal jargon and implementing plain language throughout; and
  • Adding user-focused resources, including enhanced instructions and explanations, a checklist for completion and a table of contents.

“I am very excited to announce the launch of our new-and-improved pardon form, which greatly simplifies and improves the user experience,” said Pardon Attorney Elizabeth Oyer. “It is an important piece of Pardon’s broader efforts to simplify and demystify the clemency process. It is vital that we take data-driven and forward-thinking steps to maintain a clemency process that is accessible and user-friendly. Along with our community outreach and educational visits to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, this form shows our ongoing commitment to the public to reduce the burden of applying for clemency.”

If your application for pardon is already pending, you do not need to resubmit using the new form. Pardon will continue to process any application received using either form. To learn more about the work and outreach of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, visit Office of the Pardon Attorney | Office of the Pardon Attorney (justice.gov).

Updated June 10, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-732