Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Commutation of Sentence

Eligibility: Petitioners must have served one half of the sentence or at least one year, whichever is longer. Good time and meritorious (extra) good time credited at the time of petitioning may be considered, but not projected good time or projected meritorious good time which may be earned in the future. A person must have confirmation in writing from the warden or superintendent that these minimum time-served criteria have been met. The Governor's Board on Executive Clemency may waive these criteria in exceptional cases. Petitioners will not be heard if they are seeking to rectify alleged errors in the judicial system. Petitioners serving a life sentence will not be heard if they are seeking a commutation.

Petitioners generally must wait one year before reapplying.

Application Process: Application forms are available upon request by contacting:

Department of Corrections
Division of Adult Community Services
111 State House Station
Augusta, Maine  04333
Telephone:  (207) 287-4340

Click here for downloadable forms.

You are required to complete the petition and identitfy each conviction for which you are seeking clemency. You must obtain from the court where you were convicted a certified copy of the charging instrument (Indictment, Information or Complaint), the Judgment and Commitment Form, and the Docket Sheet for each conviction. If you cannot obtain copies of the above forms (possibly destroyed, archived, etc. due to the age of the conviction) please have the Clerk of Courts certify in writing that the information is unavailable.

Once completed, the petition must be notarized and sent, along with all required
documents, to the Department of Corrections.

Upon receipt of your completed documents, the Department of Corrections will request a background check from the State Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Governor's Board on Executive Clemency will review your petition at its next regularly scheduled meeting and grant or deny your hearing request. You will be notified of the decision in writing.

If you are granted a hearing, a thorough investigation will be conducted by the Division of Probation and Parole of the Department of Corrections. There must be a personal interview between you and a member of the Division of Probation and Parole. They will contact you to schedule a mutually convenient time. Following the hearing, the Board, which serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor, will make a recommendation to the governor.

The Governor has sole responsibility for granting or denying clemency. The Governor will review the Board's recommendation and make the final decision. You will be notified in writing of the Governor's decision.

Because the Board on Executive Clemency meets only every four months, the clemency process usually takes a minimum of four months, but it can take as long as a year.

If you are denied a hearing, you must wait one year before reapplying.

If you are granted a hearing you must publish the Legal Notice form in a newspaper that has its principal place of business in the county where your case was tried. The specific requirements of the legal notice will be provided to the Petitioner by the Department of Corrections. This Legal Notice must appear once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the date of the hearing, at the petitioner's expense. In addition, you are required to provide the Department of Corrections with a copy of the entire page of in each week's paper in which the Legal Notice appears.

Those persons petitioning for a commutation who are currently incarcerated are not permitted to appear before the Board in person. They must ask someone to appear on their behalf (a relative, friend, Inmate Advocate, legal counsel, etc.)

Petitioners may ask others to appear on their behalf at the hearing.

Click here to view executive clemency information provided by Maine's Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions.

Every effort has been made to make this information accurate and up-to-date. Errors are inevitable and changes occur frequently. We would appreciate learning of any errors or inaccuracies regarding any information on this Webpage as soon as possible. Please write to

Last Updated: 06/23/14