Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Commutation of Sentence

Eligibility: All inmates are eligible to apply.

Application Process: No form is required for your application, however, a standardized form has been created by the Governor's office. In order to provide the Governor's office with all the information it needs, it may be easier for the applicant to use this form, on which all all the requirements are specified. - The applicant should be sure to sign the application as well as the bottom of each extra page. To obtain this application form an inmate may request it from his or her counselor. It is also available upon request from the Governor's Office which can be reached at:

Governor Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047 
Tel: (503) 378-4582
Fax: (503) 378-6827

When the applicant has completed and signed the application, he or she must attach it to the Clemency Affidavit. The affidavit, like the application, is available upon request from the Governor's Office. The applicant must take both documents before a Notary Public and sign the affidavit in the Notary's presence.

Before the application is submitted to the Governor, the law requires the applicant must first mail copies of the application to the following:

  • The Director of the Department of Corrections
  • The State Board of Parole
  • The District Attorney for the county in which the inmate was convicted
  • If confined in a correctional facility, the District Attorney for the county in which the inmate is confined

It is advised, but not required, to mail these copies by certified mail, return receipt requested. After mailing these copies, then mail the affidavit and application to the Governor at:

Governor Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047 
Tel: (503) 378-4582
Fax: (503) 378-6827

If an applicant chooses to create their own application, it must include the following:

  • Full name
  • If you are in a state correctional facility, provide the identifying number and state the institutions and dates of incarceration.
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Citizenship status - if applicant is a naturalized citizen, give details.
  • State the crimes applicant was convicted of, the date of the crimes committed, the county in which convicted, the court case numbers, the date of conviction. Was an appeal filed? If so, give details as to when it was filed and what the outcome was. Briefly and accurately explain the events surrounding the offense. If your version differs from the official version of events, you must give the official version before explaining the way in which your view differs. Do not go into the question of your guilt or innocence, but explain any mitigating circumstances.
  • Describe your family situation and responsibilities, indicating whether you are single, married, or divorced, and whether you have dependent children or other people for whom you are financially responsible.
  • Describe your employment before and after conviction. Give the name and addresses of past employers. Describe the kind of work you did and explain why employment ended. Describe plans for future employment.
  • Describe your involvement with any church, public service or community activities. List any special accomplishments.
  • Describe past criminal record, if any.
  • List any debts that you owe. Explain how you plan to pay them.
  • List three or four character references. Include their names and addresses, and explain their relationship with you (i.e. employer, friend, neighbor). Do not list relatives. If possible, these individuals should be aware of the crime. Whether they know about the crime or not, they must be familiar with your present circumstances and activities.
  • Explain the reason(s) for your application and why you believe the Governor should use his power to grant you a commutation of sentence.

If convicted of multiple crimes, an application should specify which crime or crimes for which commutation is sought. Provide separate reasons why the Governor should commute each crime if seeking commutation for multiple crimes. Be advised that operation of executive clemency to more than a single conviction is unlikely.

It is highly unlikely that the Governor will consider applications based upon wrongful convictions where applicants have not fully exhausted their appellate, post-conviction, and habeas corpus remedies.

Before making a decision, the Governor will gather additional information on the case. The process ordinarily takes three to four months, and may take up to six months.

Note: Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 137.225 allows a court to "set aside" convictions for certain crimes. If a court sets aside the conviction, the convict is able to represent to prospective employers that he or she has not been convicted of that crime.  You may be eligible for such a set-aside if:

1) Three years have passed since the date judgment is pronounced, and

2) The crime for which you were convicted was one of the following:

  • a class C felony
  • possession of marijuana where that crime was punishable as a felony only
  • crimes punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor
  • a misdemeanor for which jail time was imposed
  • a violation under state law or local ordinance
  • certain crimes committed before January 1, 1972, and

3) Ten years have passed from the date of any conviction other than the one that the applicant wishes the court to set aside.

The District Attorney of the county in which the court you petition is located may oppose a petition to set aside a conviction. Opposition by the D.A. does not require that a court deny your petition.

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 info@cjpf.org

Last Updated: 06/25/14