Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Commutation of Sentence
- Commutation of sentence will normally be considered only in cases of unusual meritorious service by the prisoner. Examples of unusual meritorious service include saving the life of a corrections department member or inmate, assistance in stopping an insurrection which threatens the administration's control of an institution, and risking life or serious bodily harm in attempting to secure or securing the release of a hostage.
- Requests for clemency for unusual meritorious service must be accompanied by an affidavit from the supervising authorities certifying as to the validity of the meritorious service. A recommendation for commutation by the supervising authorities will also be required.
- The Governor may, however, at his/her discretion, reduce a sentence, either in part or in entirety, allowing the applicant to be released by the Parole Board before his or her regular date of discharge.
If the applicant is denied commutation of sentence, the applicant is not eligible to reapply until four years following the date of the application.
Application Process: Applications can be obtained by contacting:
Office of the Governor
State Capitol Building
Santa Fe, N.M. 87503
Tel: (505) 476-2200
Although entitled Office of the Governor Pardon Request Form, the form should be used when requesting a commutation of sentence. Applicants should identify the type of clemency for which they wish to be considered in a cover letter. Completed applications should be forwarded to the above address.
The Parole Board will examine the request to determine if it meets the criteria for consideration set out in these guidelines. If it does not, the Board will notify the applicant and the Governor, and no further action will be taken. If the application meets the criteria of these guidelines, the Parole Board will call for a field investigation by the Corrections Department. A request for appropriate reports and case materials will be directed to the Warden of the facility or institution holding the applicant.
The Parole Board may also request the sentencing judge and/or prosecuting attorney involved in the particular case to provide pertinent input, including a recommendation for or against a commutation of sentence.
The Parole Board will review the reports from the Corrections Department and all other material available to them, and submit a summary report with their recommendation to the Governor's Pardons and Parole Committee.
The Governor's Pardons and Parole Committee, after reviewing all reports, materials and recommendations, will submit its recommendation to the Governor.
The Governor will decide whether to grant commutation of sentence after reviewing all the reports, other materials and recommendations provided. The decision of the Governor is final.
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Last Updated: 06/23/14