One of the final steps in the pardon application process is the hearing with the Board of Pardons. If you got approved for a hearing and you are in the process of scheduling one, you might feel nervous. Will you have to give a speech? Will you be interrogated by the Board? It’s natural to have these types of questions and be nervous. To try to put those fears to rest, you should learn about the pardon hearing. Also learn what to expect from it.
What is the Pardon Hearing?
The pardon hearing is a meeting with the Board of Pardons. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, these hearings have been held through video conference, so you do not have to appear in person. During the hearing, the Board will discuss and review your application. There are eight hearings scheduled each year. This means that you might have to wait a few months for your hearing. While you might be nervous about this hearing, remember that it is a good thing! Completing the hearing will bring you one step closer to receiving your pardon. You should be excited and prepared for your pardon hearing and the opportunity that it provides for you.
What Will Be Asked of You at the Hearing?
At the hearing, you will present evidence as to why you think you should receive a pardon. You and/or your pardons lawyer can attest to the positive changes that you’ve made in your life and explain why you deserve a pardon. At this time, you can talk about your positive influence on the community, the people that you have been able to help since your conviction, your job and education development, how you provide for your family, and other positive aspects of your character. You should also discuss why you are applying for a pardon and how it will positively impact your life. If the Board has any questions regarding your application, they will ask them during the hearing. It is your job to answer these questions.
The Role of the Victims in the Hearing
During your pardon hearing, the victim(s) involved in the crime that you were convicted of will be given the right to appear and speak. Your victims don’t have to appear, but if they do, their testimony will carry a significant amount of weight with the Board. For example, if a victim testifies that he or she does not think that you have changed and you do not deserve a pardon, the Board might be less likely to grant a pardon. However, if a victim recognizes the changes that you have made in your life and recommends or doesn’t object to a pardon, this opinion will be taken into consideration.
While preparing for a pardon hearing can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. With the help of a pardons lawyer, you will have the opportunity to provide evidence supporting your request for a pardon. After the pardon hearing, the Board will make its final decision in your application. In order to prepare for the pardons hearing to the best of your ability, you should consider hiring a pardons lawyer. To discuss hiring a pardons lawyer with me, please contact me for a free consultation.