- If you are searching using the Find By Name feature: you must include the correct spelling of the petitioner’s last name. As of December 2019, you may see multiple case numbers with varying status information for the same petitioner if that petitioner has applied for clemency more than once. You will also see a final action date listed if the case has been completed and no longer in "Pending" status.
- If you are searching using the Find By BOP Register feature: you must use the correct formatting prescribed by the Bureau of Prisons: 5 digits + hyphen(-) + 3 digits (e.g. 12345-678). You may see multiple case numbers with varying status information for the same petitioner if that petitioner has applied for clemency more than once. We may or may not have a BOP Register number listed on pardon cases, but they will typically be identified on commutation cases.
- If you are searching using the Find By Clemency Casefile feature: you must include the correct clemency casefile number and prefix (e.g., C165743 or P321567) and ensure that you do not include an unnecessary space behind the last number of the case file. Including an additional space will produce false results. This lookup method will only show the status of the casefile you have specified. If you are interested in seeing the status of other cases submitted by the same petitioner, you must use one of the Search by Name feature.
- The above feature does not include the names of individuals who were granted clemency by the President, but who had not sought relief through the Department's codified process at the time of the grant of pardon or commutation.
- Commutation clemency casefile numbers begin with a “C” and Pardon clemency casefile numbers begin with a “P”. If an individual is only requesting remission of fine or restitution, those cases will be preceded by a "C" because that would still equate to a reduction of some sort as opposed to a pardon.
- The Office of the Pardon Attorney (PARDON) updates the information in the Lookup at least once per month, but may update the information more if there is a business need for doing so. Therefore, if you submitted a petition to PARDON within the past 8 weeks and have not received any correspondence from us or did not get a conclusive search result in the Lookup feature, please wait and check back again after the first week of the following month. It can take a couple of weeks, if not a few months, for new clemency cases to be accepted for review and added to our system as “pending” depending on our workload volume. If you have no luck after 3 months, please feel free to use the ASKPARDON form to inquire further, but keep in mind we will not respond to message requesting information readily available on our website and also will not respond if your request for confirmation of receipt is premature (i.e. the petition in question was submitted to PARDON within the past 8 weeks).
- Our website at https://www.justice.gov/pardon has a wealth of information about various topics including, but not limited to, downloadable pardon and commutation petitions and instructions, rules governing petitions, standards for consideration, clemency statistics, a list of the denials and grants by the current and recent Presidential administrations, and responses to various frequently asked questions.
- The President always retains the plenary power granted to him by the Constitution to pardon or commute sentences at his sole discretion, with or without the advice of the Pardon Attorney and Department of Justice. If the President grants or denies clemency without the advice of the Pardon Attorney, the results of those decisions may appear on our Presidential Clemency statistics page and we will proactively disclose the signed presidential warrant for review and download, but the case will not count toward cases PARDON processed or transmitted a recommendation.
- Consistent with long-standing PARDON and DOJ practice, the Lookup Feature does not reveal at what stage within the clemency process any given case may be. PARDON is also unable to predict when the President will grant or deny a clemency request. However, each petitioner, either directly or through counsel of record, will be notified promptly when final action has been taken on their case. If a decision is not made by the current President, the petition remains pending for the next President to consider; a petitioner need not submit a new petition.
- There are various status dispositions for a clemency case submitted since 1989 and they are as follows:
- Pending - this means a clemency casefile has been created and the case is in one of various stages of review, but we will not disclose what stage of review a pending case is currently in
- Granted by the President – see https://www.justice.gov/pardon/clemencyrecipients
- Denied by the President – see https://www.justice.gov/pardon/clemency-denials
- Administratively closed without Presidential Action - PARDON will not provide a reason for administratively closing a case to a third party. You may only receive the reason behind administratively closing a case if you are the clemency petitioner or the petitioner's attorney of record, but we will have provided that information to the petitioner (through BOP or counsel) in writing prior to closing the case. Cases are administratively closed because (1) an applicant withdraws their application from consideration, (2) an applicant repeatedly fails to respond to a request by the Pardon Attorney for required information, (3) an applicant dies before a decision is made on their request, (4) we learn that the applicant is no longer a resident of the United States during the course of our review, (5) an applicant is released from Federal prison during the processing of a commutation petition that seeks only the reduction of his/her prison sentence, or (6) we learn that the applicant has not yet exhausted all legal remedies or has pending litigation.
Rationale and Benefits for the Lookup Feature
On Monday, March 5, 2018, PARDON proactively began sharing the above Lookup Feature because we receive many requests from various sources inquiring about the status of petitions. Depending on the number of requests received, our workload, and the availability of PARDON staff, it has at times taken weeks or months to provide a written response. During the Clemency Initiative of 2014, which lasted from early 2014 through early 2017, some requesters did not receive a response for many months or years due to resource constraints. With this Lookup Feature, members of the public who wish to confirm whether an executive clemency case is currently in “pending” status, either for themselves or a third party, may find this information at https://www.justice.gov/pardon. As of December 2019, you also may see multiple case numbers with varying status information for the same petitioner if that petitioner has applied for clemency more than once within our proactive disclosure window. The lookup feature has been updated to include case status information for all cases since 1989. Thus, the public may check the status of a clemency request without the trouble and delay of sending an email or written letter and awaiting a response from PARDON staff. Going forward, inmates in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons may inquire with their case managers, who will be able to quickly access the Lookup Feature and provide an immediate response to the inmate without writing to us. Since the only information that this office is able to disclose about a pending matter is whether it is pending or not, we are now sharing as much information as possible through this feature. As a result, PARDON may not respond to requests for information readily available in the Clemency Lookup Feature.
As of April 30, 2018, all status inquiries and confirmation of pending cases should be confirmed by using the Lookup feature. As of December 2019, all status inquiries and confirmation of any case submitted since 1989 should be confirmed using the Lookup feature. Please see our Privacy statement regarding commutation cases at https://www.justice.gov/pardon/file/960571/download and pardon cases at https://www.justice.gov/file/1113616/download.