The Three Forms of Clemency | Nara

Inside the felony justice system, there’s a judicial act that’s known as “clemency.” There are three main types of clemency: 1) a reprieve, 2) a commutation of sentence, or 3) a pardon. Proceed studying to be taught what clemency means for a convict, and the way every sort of clemency works.

Clemency is one other time period for mercy, leniency, or forgiveness. Within the felony justice system, it applies to convicted people who’re serving jail or jail time. It’s an act that may solely be carried out by an government member of presidency; underneath state regulation it might be the governor, and underneath federal regulation it might be the President of america.

Clemency extends leniency to convicted inmate by providing alternatives for lowered imprisonment. As talked about within the introduction, there are three types of judicial leniency, which embody reprieves, commutations of sentences, and pardons.


A reprieve is obtainable to sure qualifying inmates to droop the execution of their sentence in an effort to give them extra time to have their sentence lowered. You see this type of clemency most frequently in capital circumstances, the place an inmate is dealing with the demise penalty. By granting a reprieve, the inmate has extra time to attraction the capital punishment sentence.

Commutation of Sentence

A commutation of sentence is a type of clemency that reduces a defendant’s sentence to a lesser penalty or jail time period. Most frequently, that is utilized towards defendant’s whose sentence is imprisonment. Though this type of clemency reduces or suspends a defendant’s jail time, it doesn’t annul the precise conviction.


It is not uncommon to listen to of pardons within the motion pictures and on tv, however in actual life, pardons are extremely uncommon and far more formal. In a primary sense, a pardon forgives a convicted particular person of their crimes and penalties. Pardons can solely be granted by a head of state or high authorities official. They’re usually solely awarded when a convicted particular person has paid their “debt to society”, or is by some means worthy of being forgiven for the crime. Pardons don’t void the conviction; they merely let the person off the hook after they’ve performed their time and paid the value of committing the crime.

{Qualifications} for Clemency

Clemency is commonly reserved for humanitarian functions. For instance, if an inmate is extremely outdated or in want of in depth medical care, they might be granted clemency for his or her crimes. In different examples, clemency could also be granted to these whose sentences have been extreme, or whose guilt was surrounded by doubt. After all, there are occasions when clemency is granted as a favor to an government’s political mates or associates.

Clemency Petitions

Inmates should request clemency through software or petition. Earlier than these petitions are reviewed by a head of presidency, most states require the functions to be filed by means of a reviewing company, such because the State Board of Pardon and Parole. Discuss to your trusted felony protection lawyer for assist understanding your rights to condemn leniency.

Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

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