When you apply for a pardon with the state of Connecticut, you will deal with the Board of Pardons. The Board of Pardons and Paroles is the entity that grants or denies your application. If eligible for a pardon and your application gets accepted, you will have a hearing with the Board of Pardons. This will be the final determination of if your pardon will be granted or denied. Because the Board of Pardons will be determining the outcome of your case, you should use this page to get familiar with the Board of Pardons and what they are looking for in an applicant.
The Board of Pardons
The Board of Pardons consists of nine people. In the state of Connecticut, these people are currently:
- Rufaro Berry
- Joy Chance
- Stephen Dargan
- Carleton Giles
- Michael Pohl
- Carmen Sierra
- Kelly Smayda
- Nancy Turner
- Jennifer Zaccagnini
One of the steps in obtaining a pardon is having a meeting with the Board of Pardons. In this meeting, the Board will ask you questions and review your application.
What is the Board of Pardons Looking For?
Some of the factors that go into the Board of Pardons’ decision are:
- How many convictions you have. If you have only committed one offense, the Board of Pardons might be more willing to grant you a pardon, as you are just a one time offender and have clearly made an effort to turn your life around since your conviction.
- The amount of time that has passed since your last conviction. The more time that has passed without another charge or conviction, the better.
- Your eligibility. If you haven’t fulfilled all of the application or court requirements, you will not get a pardon.
- The reason for your application. Is there a specific need in your life that getting a pardon will fulfill? For example, is there a specific job that you can’t get because of your criminal history? Or is there some kind of program or activity that you will be barred from unless you get a pardon? Having a specific reason for the application can help your case.
- Your willingness to change since your conviction. Have you made a genuine effort to find a job, further your education, volunteer, help others, or make amends since your conviction? Or, have you violated parole and committed additional crimes since your first conviction? Do you have many people writing letters of recommendation and testifying to the positive changes in your life? Or, do you have flimsy recommendations and little support for a pardon? These factors will influence the Board’s decision.
- The opinion of your victim(s). If there were victims involved in your case, they will be given the opportunity to make a statement concerning your pardon application. The Board will take the victim(s)’s feelings into consideration before granting a pardon.
The Board of Pardons will have a large impact on your application. It is important to prepare for your hearing with the Board and make sure that you establish a solid defense of your application. For help creating a strong case for your pardon application, you can contact a pardons lawyer.