If applying for a pardon, and you have a pardon hearing scheduled, this is good news. Even though you might feel overwhelmed at the idea of presenting your case in front of the Board of Pardons, a hearing is a good thing. It means that you are one step closer to getting pardon. Of course, you want the pardon hearing to go well. This means preparing for what will happen. As you probably already know, during the pardon hearing, you should give a statement. The statement explains why you feel that you deserve a pardon. This is one of the major aspects of the pardon hearing.
Another major aspect of the hearing is that the Board of Pardons can ask you any questions that they want to in order to get the information that they need to make a decision. While the uncertainty of the questions might make you nervous, you can prepare for this experience with these tips.
Addressing the Board of Pardons
The truth of the matter is that before the pardon hearing, you will not know exactly what questions the Board of Pardons is going to ask you. However, you can still prepare for whatever the Board has to say to you by following these tips.
- Be respectful. No matter what the Board of Pardons asks you, you need to respond in a sincere and respectful manner. You should refer to individual Board members as “ma’am” or “sir” before answering questions. In addition, you should remain calm while addressing the Board. Even if a question begins to upset you, you should not let this show. Never raise your voice to the Board of Pardons or appear angry when speaking to the Board.
- Think before you speak. It is ok to take a moment to really think about the question being posed to you so that you can prepare the best answer possible. Gathering your thoughts and remaining calm will help you answer the questions to the best of your ability.
- Ask for clarification. It is also ok to ask the Board to clarify a question if you do not understand it. So long as you do this in a respectful manner, the Board will appreciate that you are taking the questions seriously and striving to answer them completely. Instead of stumbling through an answer that you are not sure of because you don’t fully understand the question, it is a good idea to ask the Board questions if you are confused.
- Take a deep breath. It is natural to be nervous at this time, but if you and your lawyer have prepared for the pardon hearing, there is really nothing to worry about. Remind yourself to simply remain calm and answer the questions to the best of your ability. This will improve your confidence, which will make a good impression on the Board of Pardons.
Speaking with the Board of Pardons can be nerve-wracking, but by following these tips, you will be able to accurately answer any questions that the Board has for you. For assistance preparing for your pardon hearing, you can contact my office here.