Clemency is a mitigation of penalties; a pardon; a discharge from prison; reduction of felony prison sentencing; a reprieve or a temporary delay or suspension of sentencing. It may be granted for the Governor of Arizona or the President of the United States. The effect does not eliminate the conviction, or mean that a person is found not-guilty of a crime. Rather, it forgives, frees or reduces punishment of the crime based on specified circumstances. These may include, but not limited to:
• The mandatory prison sentence was “clearly excessively” harsh for the crime; and/or
• A person convicted has clearly turned their life around, and is no longer a threat to society; and/or
• An inmate who has displayed exemplary behavior throughout their term; and who is genuinely remorseful of their actions;
• A person with a serious illness or injury, causing them to be in “imminent danger of death” or “persistent vegetative state” ;
• When an inmate is facing the death penalty and issued a warrant for execution (mandatory hearings apply in this case.
Arizona Board of Executive Clemency
The duties of the AZ Executive Clemency Board are to review applications; arrange and conduct hearings for eligible applicants who apply. They review the application, letters, and case materials to make recommendations to the Governor about a decision. If a majority vote is favorable they will submit it to the Governor. If granted, the State will move to reduce, mitigate, or free the applicant from previous penalties ordered by the court, resulting from the criminal conviction. If the decision is a reduction in penalties or prison term only, and the applicant was convicted of a felony, this action generally does not restore the civil right they lost with a felony crime conviction.
Clemency Laws and Proceedings in Phoenix AZ
The statutory laws governing the authority, policies, procedures, hearing requests, and recommendations by the Board are defined under the following citations:
ARS § 13-603 – Authorized disposition of offenders;
ARS § 31-402 – Powers of the Clemency Board;
ARS § 31-403 – Commutation;
ARS § 31-411 – Parole and discharge;
ARS § 38-431 – Formal public meetings
• An applicant may complete and sign an application of clemency adopted by the
Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.
• The application is made to the Governor, who then transmits it to the Chairperson of the AZ Board of Clemency. Applicants determined to eligible for a hearing by the AZ Department of Corrections, will be scheduled for Phase I or Phase II hearings which apply.
• If majority of the Members of the Board vote to recommend a commutation of sentence, they will submit a letter to the Governor validating the reasons for their favorable recommendation; letters, and other case materials.
• Subsequent Applications may be submitted according to time limitations statutes that apply following the final actions by the Board.
• The final decision is made to grant or deny clemency by the Governor of the State of Arizona, which may or may not be in agreement with the Recommendations of the Board.
Criminal Defense Firm for Clemency Proceeding in Phoenix AZ
If you feel that you or someone you know would be eligible to apply for clemency, you should consult your criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter, and reasons you feel you meet the critera to apply. If retained, they will guide you and assist you with the application, and judicial proceeding process.