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About the Office

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Watch Second Chances Through Clemency: An Introduction to the Office of the Pardon Attorney on YouTube.


The Office of the Pardon Attorney is entrusted with the responsibility of administering the executive clemency process, in accordance with longstanding federal regulations codified at 28 C.F.R. §§ 0.35, 0.36, and 1.1 – 1.11. The Office receives, reviews, and investigates applications for executive clemency and provides advice and recommendations to the President. The Office is led by the Pardon Attorney, a career senior executive, and is supported by approximately 40 attorney and non-attorney staff. The Office is nonpolitical and operates under the general oversight of the Deputy Attorney General. For over 130 years, Presidents have relied on the Office to support the exercise of the constitutional clemency power by providing neutral advice and expertise. The Office also prepares the documents the President signs when granting clemency and notifies applicants when the President has made a decision to grant or deny clemency. 

Updated November 29, 2023