Applicable Form of Clemency: Commutation of Sentence*

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

Eligibility: All inmates are eligible to apply.

Application Process: No standardized application materials have been developed by the Board. Inmates are to 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 sent to:

State of Utah Board of Pardons and Parole
448 East Winchester Street
Suite 300
Murray, Utah 84107
Tel: (801) 261-6464
Fax: (801) 261-6481

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole is a five-member, full-time board. Board members serve staggered five-year terms and are appointed by the Governor. A majority vote (at least three of the five members) is required for a commutation of sentence to be granted. Although administratively related to the Department of Corrections, the Board's decisions are autonomous. Current members include  Clark A. Harms, Chairman, Angela F. Micklos, Robert S. Yeates, Chyleen A. Arbon and Jesse Gallogos.

A reply from the Board takes about 30 days. If the Board finds a case meritorious, the full Board will conduct a hearing in which the petitioner and the state may present evidence and arguments. Inmates are not provided an attorney, but are permitted to retain their own. Hearings are open to the general public and media. A typical commutation hearing lasts approximately 20 minutes. The Board's decision is not subject to judicial review.

*The Utah Administrative Code lacks rules regarding commutations for anything aside from death penalty cases. It should be noted that the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has rarely received petitions for other types of cases, but any submitted application will be reviewed.

The administrative rules regarding commutations for death penalty cases can be viewed by clicking here

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: 07.30.14