When applying for a pardon, one of the steps in this process is attending a virtual pardon hearing. If you have been chosen to attend a pardon hearing, this is a good sign! While you might be nervous, this is an essential step in having a pardon granted for you. If a hearing has been scheduled for you, it means that you are one step closer to having your pardon granted! However, for some, the pardon hearing can be overwhelming. One aspect of the hearing that tends to worry my pardon applicants is the role of the victim. Victims of crimes that you have been found guilty of have a right to attend the pardon hearing. They also have the right to make a statement. Learn about this process and how to handle the pardon hearing and seeing a victim in a case by reading on.
A pardon hearing contains several parts. You and your lawyer are allowed to make statements. You will be asked questions by the Board of Pardons. Also, any victims of your crimes will have the opportunity to make a statement. This means that the victims from any crime that you have been convicted of have a right to attend the hearing and express their opinions regarding your pardon. The Board of Pardons will take victims’ opinions and statements into consideration when making their final decision.
When a pardon is granted, a person’s crimes and mistakes are essentially forgiven. For victims of crimes and their families, this realization can be difficult. Some victims may still be suffering from trauma due to crimes, and do not want a perpetrator’s crimes to be forgiven. However, in other cases, the victims can move past what happened and see the good that a person has done in the community since the time of his or her arrest. These factors will be taken into consideration to make sure that each pardon decision is fair to all parties involved.
Pardon Application Tips
If you are applying for a pardon, here are some tips on how to properly handle seeing victims from your cases:
- Consult your lawyer. You might want to beg the victims to say kind things about you so that you can get your pardon. Or, you might want to keep your distance due to anger or guilt over what has happened in the past. But before you do anything, you should talk to your lawyer in order to determine the best way to proceed. Your lawyer can help you determine what to say and the best way to handle this situation.
- Don’t get angry. Seeing someone who was involved in your case can bring up a lot of emotions. Prepare for this scenario and try to remain calm during the hearing. Don’t let yourself become visibly upset and don’t lose control at this time. This will have a negative impact on the Board of Pardons.
- Let your actions speak for you. You can build evidence of your remorse and positive improvements by showing the good that you have done since the time of your conviction. Don’t specifically call out a victim’s statement and try to argue it. Simply prove from your actions that you deserve a pardon.
While it can be difficult to deal with a victim’s testimony during your pardon hearing, try not to let this rattle you too much. By properly preparing for the hearing with a help of a pardon lawyer, you will improve your chances of getting a pardon.