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Clemency

**Note: As of January 2018, there is a NEW process for applying for clemency in the State of Alaska.**

All individuals who have submitted applications or eligibility forms to the Alaska Board of Parole since 2006 MUST submit a new, signed, updated application and waivers to the Alaska Board of Parole. Applications must be mailed or emailed.

Our mailing address is:
550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1800
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Our e-mail address is:
clemency@alaska.gov

If you submitted an application or eligibility form to the Alaska Board of Parole since 2006, and do not submit a new, updated application and waivers to the Alaska Board of Parole, your previous request for executive clemency will be deemed DENIED.

Download Clemency Application and Waivers

Definitions/Types of Clemency

Clemency is an extraordinary measure. The term "clemency" refers to the constitutional power given exclusively to the Governor (Article III, Section 21) that allows him or her to grant a pardon, commutation, reprieve, or remission of fines and forfeitures. The Governor only has clemency power over State crimes.

A pardon is an order of official forgiveness granted to an individual for a crime or crimes. A pardon does not expunge, remove, or erase the crime from that individual's record.

A commutation is a partial or full reduction of a sentence for a person now incarcerated for having committed a crime or crimes. A commutation substitutes a less severe punishment for the original sentence that the individual was given.

A reprieve provides temporary relief from punishment. With a reprieve, an applicant may be given the opportunity to postpone the beginning of incarceration or shorten the period of incarceration, perhaps due to extenuating circumstances.

A remission of fines is a reduction or cancellation of court-ordered fines.

Note: clemency is different from expungement. Expungement is the process of erasing, removing, or deleting a criminal record. Alaska does not have a law or method to expunge criminal history records at this time. Even those individuals who receive clemency will not have their records expunged.

FAQ

Authority

The Governor's authority for clemency is outlined in Article III, Section 21, of the Alaska Constitution, which provides that the Governor may grant pardons, commutations, and reprieves, and may suspend and remit fines and forfeitures. This authority does not apply to impeachment. The Governor's authority is reiterated in AS 33.20.070. The power to grant pardons, commutations, reprieves, and remission of fines is within the sole discretion of the Governor.

Any person who has committed a crime under the laws of the State or Territory of Alaska may petition for clemency. Therefore, the Governor's clemency power does not extend to crimes committed under federal law, municipal law, or the laws of another state. The Governor's pardoning power does not include expunging arrest or conviction records.

Process

When an application for any form of clemency is received by the Board of Parole, it is screened for eligibility. Eligible applications will be forwarded to the Office of the Governor. The Governor may choose to deny an application at this stage, or may refer the application back to the Board of Parole for further investigation.

Once the Governor indicates that he or she would like further review of an application, the Board of Parole will send notice to the victim(s) of a crime against a person, crime of domestic violence, or arson in the first degree, the Office of Victims' Rights, and the Department of Law within 5 days of the clemency investigation. Those notified will have an opportunity to provide comments to the Board of Parole on the clemency application. The Board of Parole will send notification of consideration to the applicant, and may request additional information from the applicant at that time. The Board of Parole will collect other background information on the applicant, including but not limited to court records, police reports, and/or probation and parole records, among others. No later than 120 days after receipt of notice of consideration from the Governor, the Board will submit a report of investigation to the Governor with its findings.

Next, the application and findings from the Board of Parole will go to the Executive Clemency Advisory Committee. This committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the Governor.

The Governor has the authority to make the final decision with regard to clemency. Once he or she has made a decision, the Board of Parole and Executive Clemency Advisory Committee are notified. The Board of Parole provides notice to the victim, Office of Victims' Rights, Department of Law, and the applicant, of the decision. The Governor's decision is final and may not be appealed.

Download flow chart as PDF