Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Commutation of Sentence

The decision to grant a commutation of sentence is made by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Governor plays no direct role in the decision making.

Eligibility: All inmates are eligible to apply. There is no minimum amount of time that must be served before an inmate may apply for a commutation of sentence.

Application Process: No standardized application materials have been developed by the Board. An inmate or someone representing an inmate may write to the Board to request clemency. The only information required by the Board is the inmate's name, prisoner number, and the reason(s) why clemency should be granted. It may be useful to include additional information:

1) to help with identification

  • Date of birth
  • Offender class
  • Place of incarceration

2) to research the applicant's criminal and social background

  • Offense(s) charged, convicted of or plead to
  • Place where offense(s) committed
  • Place of conviction/judicial district/court docket number
  • Date of sentencing
  • Length of sentence
  • Time served
  • Prior parole or probation
  • When and how parole or probation completed
  • Institutional disciplinary reports, nature and date of the last violation, and custody status

3) relevant to granting special release

  • Education (highest level completed)
  • Age at time of offense
  • Present age
  • Prior clemency actions
  • Narrative detailing the events surrounding the offense(s)
  • Letters of recommendation from family, friends, clergy, elected officials, etc.

Requests for clemency should be directed to:

State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909

Telephone:  (404) 656-4661

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is a full-time, five-member board. Members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. Members' terms are staggered in seven-year increments. Clemency requests are screened by Board staff. Requests deemed meritorious are forwarded to the Board for review and decision. The Board also makes parole determinations.

Representation by an attorney is not necessary for clemency consideration. The decision whether to employ an attorney is a personal decision by the inmate or anyone acting in his or her behalf. Licensed attorneys who are active members, in good standing, of the State Bar of Georgia are the only persons permitted to charge a fee to appear before the Board. A member of the Georgia General Assembly or other elected or appointed State official may not charge a fee for appearing before the Board regardless of whether he or she is an attorney. The Board may require an attorney representing an inmate before the Board to file a sworn statement as to whether he or she is receiving a fee from their client.

A majority vote (at least three of the five members) is required for a clemency request to be granted. Hearings are not open to the public. Inmates can request friends, family, and supporters to send correspondence in favor of the clemency request to the Board. It takes several months for the Board to notify the inmate of its decision.

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You are on an unofficial webpage, not affiliated with the official state webpage. Every effort has been made to make this information accurate and up-to-date. Changes occur frequently and errors are inevitable. We would appreciate learning of any errors or inaccuracies. You may write to

CJPF is unable to answer questions regarding this state's clemency program. CJPF cannot provide legal assistance and does not take on individual clients. CJPF cannot provide applicants for clemency any assistance. Do not send clemency materials to CJPF. Please do not write or call asking for assistance.


Last Updated: 06.23.14