[Title 28 CFR 1]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2002 Edition]
[Title 28 - JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION]
[Chapter I - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE]
[Part 1 - EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
28JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION12002-07-012002-07-01falseEXECUTIVE CLEMENCY1PART 1JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATIONDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
PART 1--EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY--Table of Contents
1.1 Submission of petition; form to be used; contents of petition.
1.2 Eligibility for filing petition for pardon.
1.3 Eligibility for filing petition for commutation of sentence.
1.4 Offenses against the laws of possessions or territories of the
1.5 Disclosure of files.
1.6 Consideration of petitions; notification of victims;
recommendations to the President.
1.7 Notification of grant of clemency.
1.8 Notification of denial of clemency.
1.9 Delegation of authority.
1.10 Procedures applicable to prisoners under a sentence of death
imposed by a United States District Court.
1.11 Advisory nature of regulations.
Authority: U.S. Const., Art. II, sec. 2; authority of the President
as Chief Executive; and 28 U.S.C. 509, 510.
Source: Order No. 1798-93, 58 FR 53658, Oct. 18, 1993, unless
Sec. 1.1 Submission of petition; form to be used; contents of petition.
A person seeking executive clemency by pardon, reprieve, commutation
of sentence, or remission of fine shall execute a formal petition. The
petition shall be addressed to the President of the United States and
shall be submitted to the Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice,
Washington, DC 20530, except for petitions relating to military
offenses. Petitions and other required forms may be obtained from the
Pardon Attorney. Petition forms for commutation of sentence also may be
obtained from the wardens of federal penal institutions. A petitioner
applying for executive clemency with respect to military offenses should
submit his or her petition directly to the Secretary of the military
department that had original jurisdiction over the court-martial trial
and conviction of the petitioner. In such a case, a form furnished by
the Pardon Attorney may be used but should be modified to meet the needs
of the particular case. Each petition for executive clemency should
include the information required in the form prescribed by the Attorney
Sec. 1.2 Eligibility for filing petition for pardon.
No petition for pardon should be filed until the expiration of a
waiting period of at least five years after the date of the release of
the petitioner from confinement or, in case no prison sentence was
imposed, until the expiration of a period of at least five years after
the date of the conviction of the petitioner. Generally, no petition
should be submitted by a person who is on probation, parole, or
Sec. 1.3 Eligiblity for filing petition for commutation of sentence.
No petition for commutation of sentence, including remission of
fine, should be filed if other forms of judicial or administrative
relief are available, except upon a showing of exceptional
Sec. 1.4 Offenses against the laws of possessions or territories of the United States.
Petitions for executive clemency shall relate only to violations of
laws of the United States. Petitions relating to violations of laws of
the possessions of the United States or territories subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States should be submitted to the appropriate
official or agency of the possession or territory concerned.
Sec. 1.5 Disclosure of files.
Petitions, reports, memoranda, and communications submitted or
furnished in connection with the consideration of a petition for
executive clemency generally shall be available only to the officials
concerned with the consideration of the petition. However, they may be
made available for inspection, in whole or in part, when in the judgment
of the Attorney General their disclosure is required by law or the ends
Sec. 1.6 Consideration of petitions; notification of victims; recommendations to the President.
(a) Upon receipt of a petition for executive clemency, the Attorney
General shall cause such investigation to be made of the matter as he or
she may deem necessary and appropriate, using the services of, or
obtaining reports from, appropriate officials and agencies of the
Government, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(b)(1) When a person requests clemency (in the form of either a
commutation of a sentence or a pardon after serving a sentence) for a
conviction of a felony offense for which there was a victim, and the
Attorney General concludes from the information developed in the
clemency case that investigation of the clemency case warrants
contacting the victim, the Attorney General shall cause reasonable
effort to be made to notify the victim or victims of the crime for which
clemency is sought:
(i) That a clemency petition has been filed;
(ii) That the victim may submit comments regarding clemency; and
(iii) Whether the clemency request ultimately is granted or denied
by the President.
(2) In determining whether contacting the victim is warranted, the
Attorney General shall consider the seriousness and recency of the
offense, the nature and extent of the harm to the victim, the
defendant's overall criminal history and history of violent behavior,
and the likelihood that clemency could be recommended in the case.
(3) For the purposes of this paragraph (b), ``victim'' means an
(i) Has suffered direct or threatened physical, emotional, or
pecuniary harm as a result of the commission of the crime for which
clemency is sought (or, in the case of an individual who died or was
rendered incompetent as a direct and proximate result of the commission
of the crime for which clemency is sought, one of the following
relatives of the victim (in order of preference): the spouse; an adult
offspring; or a parent); and
(ii) Has on file with the Federal Bureau of Prisons a request to be
notified pursuant to 28 CFR 551.152 of the offender's release from
(4) For the purposes of this paragraph (b), ``reasonable effort'' is
satisfied by mailing to the last-known address reported by the victim to
the Federal Bureau of Prisons under 28 CFR 551.152.
(5) The provisions of this paragraph (b) apply to clemency cases
filed on or after September 28, 2000.
(c) The Attorney General shall review each petition and all
pertinent information developed by the investigation and shall determine
whether the request for clemency is of sufficient merit to warrant
favorable action by the President. The Attorney General shall report in
writing his or her recommendation to the President, stating whether in
his or her judgment the President should grant or deny the petition.
[Order No. 2323-2000, 65 FR 58223, Sept. 28, 2000]
Sec. 1.7 Notification of grant of clemency.
When a petition for pardon is granted, the petitioner or his or her
attorney shall be notified of such action and the warrant of pardon
shall be mailed
to the petitioner. When commutation of sentence is granted, the
petitioner shall be notified of such action and the warrant of a
commutation shall be sent to the petitioner through the officer in
charge of his or her place of confinement, or directly to the petitioner
if he/she is on parole, probation, or supervised release.
Sec. 1.8 Notification of denial of clemency.
(a) Whenever the President notifies the Attorney General that he has
denied a request for clemency, the Attorney General shall so advise the
petitioner and close the case.
(b) Except in cases in which a sentence of death has been imposed,
whenever the Attorney General recommends that the President deny a
request for clemency and the President does not disapprove or take other
action with respect to that adverse recommendation within 30 days after
the date of its submission to him, it shall be presumed that the
President concurs in that adverse recommendation of the Attorney
General, and the Attorney General shall so advise the petitioner and
close the case.
Sec. 1.9 Delegation of authority.
The Attorney General may delegate to any officer of the Department
of Justice any of his or her duties or responsibilities under Secs. 1.1
Sec. 1.10 Procedures applicable to prisoners under a sentence of death imposed by a United States District Court.
The following procedures shall apply with respect to any request for
clemency by a person under a sentence of death imposed by a United
States District Court for an offense against the United States. Other
provisions set forth in this part shall also apply to the extent they
are not inconsistent with this section.
(a) Clemency in the form of reprieve or commutation of a death
sentence imposed by a United States District Court shall be requested by
the person under the sentence of death or by the person's attorney
acting with the person's written and signed authorization.
(b) No petition for reprieve or commutation of a death sentence
should be filed before proceedings on the petitioner's direct appeal of
the judgment of conviction and first petition under 28 U.S.C. 2255 have
terminated. A petition for commutation of sentence should be filed no
later than 30 days after the petitioner has received notification from
the Bureau of Prisons of the scheduled date of execution. All papers in
support of a petition for commutation of sentence should be filed no
later than 15 days after the filing of the petition itself. Papers filed
by the petitioner more than 15 days after the commutation petition has
been filed may be excluded from consideration.
(c) The petitioner's clemency counsel may request to make an oral
presentation of reasonable duration to the Office of the Pardon Attorney
in support of the clemency petition. The presentation should be
requested at the time the clemency petition is filed. The family or
families of any victim of an offense for which the petitioner was
sentenced to death may, with the assistance of the prosecuting office,
request to make an oral presentation of reasonable duration to the
Office of the Pardon Attorney.
(d) Clemency proceedings may be suspended if a court orders a stay
of execution for any reason other than to allow completion of the
(e) Only one request for commutation of a death sentence will be
processed to completion, absent a clear showing of exceptional
(f) The provisions of this Sec. 1.10 apply to any person under a
sentence of death imposed by a United States District Court for whom an
execution date is set on or after August 1, 2000.
[Order No. 2317-2000, 65 FR 48381, August 8, 2000]
Sec. 1.11 Advisory nature of regulations.
The regulations contained in this part are advisory only and for the
internal guidance of Department of Justice personnel. They create no
enforceable rights in persons applying for executive clemency, nor do
they restrict the authority granted to the President
under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution.
[Order No. 1798-93, 58 FR 53658, Oct. 18, 1993. Redesignated by Order
No. 2317-2000, 65 FR 48381, August 8, 2000]