There are a few different forms of reprieve that can be offered to someone convicted of a crime. While a pardon is the most common form of relief, there are similar ones that you can apply for. One such form of clemency is called a commutation of sentence. The commutation of sentence is similar to a pardon in some ways. But it is important to keep in mind that these are two different terms. Learn more about the commutation of sentence on this page. For more help, you can contact our office. We can answer your questions.
The Commutation of Sentence
A commutation of sentence is also known simply as a commutation. It is a form of reprieve granted to federal prisoners by the President of the United States. If a commutation gets granted, the prisoner’s sentence gets reduced, but the prisoner’s other rights don’t get restored. For instance, the prisoner still cannot own guns. In recent years, the commutation has gotten granted less and less frequently. For example, President Obama has only granted 10 commutations, while he has granted 52 pardons during his time in office. A commutation of sentence is one of the only current ways for prisoners to get relief from excessive sentences.
To be eligible for a commutation of sentence, you must:
- Currently be serving a federal sentence that would be significantly shorter if it were imposed today.
- Have a history of non-violence.
- Have no significant association with gangs or organized crime.
- Have, to date, served at least 10 years of your sentence.
- Have shown good conduct.
- Have no substantial prior convictions.
Differences Between A Pardon And A Commutation
As you may have guessed just from reading the description of a commutation, there are several important differences between a commutation and a pardon. First of all, a commutation can only be granted by a United States President. The pardon can be granted by a President or a Board of Pardons in your state. Partially as a result of this fact, a commutation of sentence is much more difficult to get than a pardon.
Another major difference between a pardon and a commutation is the result for the applicant. If you are granted a pardon, your criminal history will be erased and you will be “pardoned” of your crimes. If you are granted a commutation, the only benefit is that your federal sentence will be reduced. This is an excellent benefit, because it will mean a reduced prison sentence. But, a commutation will not help you once you are released from prison. Your criminal record will still exist, which can make it difficult for you to return to normal civilian life.
Also, as you can see, the eligibility requirements are different for someone applying for a commutation and someone applying for a pardon. You have to currently be serving a sentence to apply for a commutation. To apply for a pardon, you won’t be eligible until several years have passed since the time of your conviction.
These are some of the major differences between a commutation and a pardon. For more information, please contact me. We can answer your questions. We are happy to do this during a free consultation. Please contact us to set up a consultation today.