Policies

 

Policy on Posthumous Pardon Applications

It is the general policy of the Department of Justice not to accept for processing applications for posthumous pardons for federal convictions. The policy against processing posthumous pardon petitions is grounded in the belief that the time of the officials involved in the clemency process is better spent on the pardon and commutation requests of living persons. Many posthumous pardon requests would likely be based on a claim of manifest injustice, and given that decades have passed since the commission of the offense and the historical record would have to be scoured objectively and comprehensively to investigate such claims, it is the Department’s position that the limited resources available to process applications for Presidential pardon are best dedicated to applications submitted by living persons who can truly benefit from a grant of clemency. The policy also recognizes that applications for posthumous pardons are less likely to involve the issues that generally are explored in routine pardon investigations (such as the recent, or ongoing, rehabilitative efforts of a defendant), and are therefore less likely to benefit from the investigative techniques commonly used in the pardon process.

Policy on pardons for Misdemeanor Federal Convictions

It is the general policy of the Department of Justice not to process applications for pardon of federal misdemeanor convictions, since most civil disabilities imposed as the result of a federal conviction are triggered by conviction for a felony offense rather than a misdemeanor crime. Given this fact, it is the view of the Department of Justice that the limited resources of the Office of the Pardon Attorney are best utilized to review and process applications for pardon of federal felony convictions, since in those circumstances, the relief requested would, if granted, remove civil disabilities and have a more meaningful effect upon the clemency recipient. In order to be considered for a waiver of this policy, an applicant must provide concrete evidence in his pardon application of a specific harm or disability suffered that is directly and solely attributable to the misdemeanor federal conviction.

Pardon Applications Submitted by Non-Residents of the United States

It is the general policy of the Department of Justice not to accept for processing applications for pardon submitted by non-residents of the United States. This policy is predicated upon the difficulty that an applicant’s residency outside the United States poses to the conduct of the type of thorough and exacting investigation into the applicant’s personal background and activities that is required in order to determine the applicant’s worthiness for pardon.

Military Commutations

The Office of the Pardon Attorney does not process requests for commutation (reduction) of sentences from persons convicted of offenses in military courts-martial.  Military commutation requests are handled by the military branch that handled the conviction and sentencing.

Military Pardons

If you are requesting pardon of a court-martial conviction only, you should submit your completed petition directly to the Secretary of the military department that had original jurisdiction in your case, and listing in your responses to questions 2 through 6 and question 15 of the petition form all pertinent information concerning your court-martial trial and conviction. The addresses for submitting a request for a pardon of a court-martial conviction are as follows:

 

U.S. Army:

Secretary of the Army

Department of the Army

ATTN: OTJAG-CLD

Pentagon

Washington, DC 20310

 

U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps:

Office of the Judge Advocate General

Criminal Law Division (Code 20)

1254 Charles Morris Street S.E.,

Suite B01

Washington Navy Yard, D.C. 20374

 

U.S. Air Force:

Secretary of the Air Force

Attention: AFLOA/JAJR

1500 W. Perimeter Road,

Suite 1170

Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, MD 20762

 

Please be aware that receiving a pardon for a military offense will not change the character of a military discharge. An upgrade or other change to a military discharge may only be accomplished by action of the appropriate military authorities. To apply for a review of a military discharge, you should write to the relevant military branch, at the address listed below:

 

U.S. Army:

Army Review Boards Agency

251 18th Street South

Arlington, Virginia 22202-4508

 

U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps:

Secretary of the Navy

Naval Council of Personnel Records

702 Kennon Street, SE

Suite 309

Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5023

 

U.S. Air Force:

Air Force Review Boards Agency

SAS/MRBR

550C Street West

Suite 40

Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 78150-4742

Updated February 22, 2018

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