Important: Since July 30, 2012, the Alaska Department of Corrections has been revising its Executive Clemency Program. It is still accepting applications, but it will not be granting clemency until the revisions are completed. Once the revisions are completed, pending applicants will be notified by the Alaska Department of Corrections. This page will also be updated accordingly.
Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Commutation of Sentence
A commutation of sentence is a form of executive clemency. It is a reduction or lessening of the original sentence, usually taking the form of a reduction in the length of imprisonment. In some cases, it may result in release from prison. A commutation may be granted conditionally. The Governor may impose any conditions and the time the conditions may be in effect may extend beyond the term of the original sentence or even for life.
Eligibility: Any person who has committed a crime under the laws of the State or Territory of Alaska may apply to the Governor for clemency at any time. The power to grant clemency in Alaska does not extend to crimes committed under Federal law, municipal law, or the laws of another state.
Certain conditions must be met in order for an application to be considered. No application for clemency will be considered prior to judgment or commitment, or during the course of an appeal from the conviction or sentence for which clemency is being sought. Similarly, no application for clemency will be considered while application is being made for any form of post-conviction relief, including a sentence reduction motion or Federal habeas corpus motion.
Generally, applications for executive clemency will not be considered until after the person has served some portion of the sentence. Applications will not be considered until the person has reached his or her parole period. Every prisoner applying prior to his or her parole eligible date must state substantial facts showing why release on parole, when eligible, would not meet the situation in the prisoner's case. Applications for commutation will not be considered while parolees are on parole.
Except for conditional commutations granted during a prisoner-overcrowding emergency, an applicant must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances in order to receive a commutation of sentence.
If the application is denied, the Governor will not accept resubmission of an application during the four-year term of office unless substantial new information is discovered.
Please see the handbook for a detailed list of clemency ineligibility.
Application Process: An applicant begins the process for executive clemency by completing an Eligibility Determination form. Requests for the Eligibility Determination form can also be submitted to
Alaska Board of Parole
ATTN: Clemency Determination
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite #601
Anchorage, AK 99501
The form should be completed in ink and mailed to:
ATTN: Clemency Determination
Alaska Board of Parole
P.O. Box 112000
Juneau, AK 99811-2000
Upon receipt of that form, within 30 days you will receive notification of your eligibility (or not) for presenting a full Executive Clemency Application. (If you have a viable email address, that is the quickest and preferred method for responding to you regarding eligibility.... please provide it on the form if you have one. That email address will be used by Board of Parole clemency staff only, and will not be provided to other parties.)
When you receive your notification of eligibilty, you can continue the application process by completing an application form and submitting it to:
Alaska Board of Parole
PO Box 112000
Juneau, AK 99811-20000
Tel: (907) 465-3384
Fax: (907) 465-3110
Clemency applications are also available at state correctional facilities, probation offices, and the Governor's office. When received, the application is investigated by staff of the Board of Parole and a summary is prepared and submitted to the Governor's Executive Clemency Advisory Committee.
The clemency application must be typewritten or fully completed in ink, and be legible. No one, including the applicant, is entitled to attend the hearing. Applicants must provide the date of conviction, crime of conviction, court case number and the sentence imposed for each conviction. This information can be obtained from the clerk of court. In addition to the clemency application, all applicants are required to complete and submit the Executive Clemency Questionnaire Worksheet. Documents relating to the completion or compliance with orders of the court should also accompany the application. Application forms are available from the Board of Parole.
The Executive Clemency Advisory Committee is comprised of three persons: the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General or a representative from the Department of Law, and a public member. The committee meets as often as necessary to review pending applications. In recent years, Committee meetings have averaged two or three times a year.
Following consideration and review of applications, the Executive Clemency Advisory Committee prepares a summary and recommendation for each application and submits it to the Governor along with the complete file. The Governor then reviews each case, makes a decision and the applicant is notified of that decision. The entire process, from the time of submission of an application to the point of decision by the Governor, usually does not exceed one year, but in some circumstances can take longer.
Applicants for Executive Clemency should be aware that virtually their entire history is considered in evaluating an application for clemency. Applicants are required to sign waivers permitting an investigation of their employment and personal history.
Of particular importance will be the facts surrounding the offense for which clemency is requested, the presentence report, the record of the sentencing, progress reports during incarceration and length of time already served. Additional factors include the person's arrest and conviction record for other offenses, and at times, the health of the applicant. Compliance with orders and conditions established by the court are especially important.
The comments of the Sentencing Judge, the District Attorney involved in the case, and comments of the victim(s) are solicited and considered by the Executive Clemency Advisory Committee and the Governor.
The most important factor is the exceptional or extraordinary circumstance of the applicant that would justify use of the Governor's clemency power.
If clemency is granted, it does not become effective until it is delivered and accepted by the applicant. Once delivered, a conditional clemency may be revoked by the Governor for violations of conditions imposed.
If clemency is granted, the applicant, as well as appropriate officials will promptly receive an original signed and sealed document of the grant of clemency. A copy will also be sent to the sentencing court, and the Alaska Department of Public Safety (Records Section), to be retained in their files.
All records regarding the conviction are retained by the appropriate agencies. There are no provisions for expungement of criminal records upon a grant of clemency.
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. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated 06/30/14