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Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Executive Clemency


Executive Clemency is an act of mercy or leniency from certain consequences of a criminal conviction, and is exercised by the Governor after receipt of a recommendation from the Parole Board.

Clemency can be in the form of a pardon, commutation, or reprieve.

Pardon:  A pardon is the remission of a penalty. It is an act of grace or forgiveness that relieves the person pardoned from some or all of the ramifications of lawful punishment. A pardon may be conditional or unconditional. Pardons do not erase or seal a conviction; a pardon forgives guilt.

Commutation:  Commutation is the reduction of a penalty to one less severe.  A commutation may be conditional or unconditional.

Reprieve:  A reprieve is the temporary postponement of the execution of a sentence.

Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2967.07 requires that all applications for clemency be made in writing to the Adult Parole Authority.  The Governor may also direct the Parole Board to investigate and examine any case for the propriety of clemency.

The Parole Board's role in the clemency process includes both non-death penalty and death penalty cases.  In non-death penalty cases, the Parole Board reviews all written applications and decides whether to further consider the merits of an application at a hearing, or submit an unfavorable recommendation to the Governor without further consideration. Hearings are generally conducted when the application appears to have merit. The hearing allows for the opportunity for the Parole Board to meet with the applicant and to provide statutory notice to interested parties, who may also choose to attend the hearing. Upon completion of its examination, the Parole Board provides a report to the Governor which includes a summary of the facts in the case, a recommendation for or against the granting of clemency, and the reasoning behind the recommendation.

Specific information and details regarding the application process can be viewed by clicking "Application Instructions and Guidelines."

Only the person seeking clemency or his/her legal representative can apply for clemency.  Click "Application for Executive Clemency" (2 pages) and "Application Instructions and Guidelines" (4 pages), to download these documents.  Alternatively, interested applicants may also contact:

 By U.S. Mail:

Ohio Parole Board
770 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH  43222

or by Telephone:

or toll-free: 1-888-344-1441

Please carefully review the Application Instructions prior to filling out an application.  Failure to provide a complete Application and to include all required documents will delay the processing of your application. All incomplete Applications will be returned, without further processing, to the applicant or his/her legal representative with an accompanying correspondence specifying the deficiencies. Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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