- If you are searching using the Find By Name feature: you must include the correct spelling of the petitioner’s last name
- 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)
- 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)
- Commutation clemency casefile numbers begin with a “C” and Pardon clemency casefile numbers begin with a “P”.
- The Office of the Pardon Attorney ("PARDON") updates the information in the Lookup at least once per month. 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 cases.” If you have no luck after a few months, please feel free to use the ASKPARDON form to inquire further, but keep in mind we will not respond to any 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 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, but will not count toward cases PARDON processed and will not be available in the Lookup because they were never pending within this office.
- If a case showed up in the Lookup feature at some point in time, but it is no longer showing up as “pending,” that case has since received one of the following final dispositions:
Rationale and Benefits for the Lookup Feature
PARDON receives 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. 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.
Future Plans for the Lookup Feature
In the distant future, we would like to expand the Lookup Feature to include information about when a petition was granted or denied by the President (or administratively closed without Presidential action). 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 petition. However, each petitioner, either directly or through an attorney, 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; a petitioner need not submit a new petition.
As of April 30, 2018, all status inquiries and confirmation of pending cases should be confirmed by using the Lookup feature above.