Applicable Form of Executive Clemency: Conditional Pardon

The power to pardon possessed by the Governor is exclusive and conferred upon the office by the Vermont Constitution, which states the Governor "shall have power to grant pardons and remit fines in all cases whatsoever…" (Vermont Constitution, Chapter II, 20).

Eligibility: All inmates are eligible to apply.

Application Process: Applications are available upon request. Inmates, or someone acting on their behalf, should send a letter expressing their desire to receive a conditional pardon and the reasons why they feel it should be granted to:

Governor Peter Shumlin
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101
Tel: (802) 828-3333
Toll free: (800) 649-6825

The application form for pardons is also available by clicking here.

The application should be typed or clearly printed. All questions must be answered, marking non-applicable questions with "n/a." If the space provided is not sufficient to complete your answers, or if you wish to furnish additional information, attach extra sheets and number answers to correspond with the questions. The application must be notarized.

The completed application should be returned to the Governor's address. A separate letter that indicates the application is for a "conditional pardon" should be included with the submission.

By submitting the application, the inmate consents to the release of his or her record to the Governor, and to the public release of his or her name.

The Governor's office will send a letter to the Commissioner of Corrections to initiate a conditional pardon investigation. The Commissioner of Corrections, after review, may assign the investigation to the appropriate Area Manager. The Area Manager will instruct the Facility Superintendent to conduct an investigation to determine if cause exists to require a hearing on the conditional pardon application. If cause exists, the Facility Superintendent will recommend to the Area Manager that a hearing be held. The Area Manager reviews the investigation report, measuring the information gathered against the compelling reason for the applicant's request, the guidelines for a compelling reason to grant a pardon, and pardon policy and procedures. At this time, he or she reviews the entire case. The Area Manager sends to the Commissioner a memo stating the rationale for a positive or negative recommendation for the conditional pardon. The Commissioner reviews the case and rationale from the Area Manager for a positive or negative recommendation on the conditional pardon, and measures this against the applicant's request and the compelling reason for granting a conditional pardon. The Commissioner will forward the Department of Corrections (DOC) recommendation to the Governor. If the recommendation is positive, the Commissioner will present written rationale for his or her decision. If the recommendation is negative, the Commissioner will forward the case, with a letter expressing his or her position, to the Governor and the Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs. The DOC's investigation is to be completed within 30 days after it is assigned to the Area Manager.

The Governor reviews the DOC's recommendation and the inmate's file before making a decision. Section 12 of the DOC's Probation and Parole Manual, which is devoted to pardon investigations, states, "The Governor will determine if a hearing will be held and if an investigating officer from the department or the Parole Board will hold a hearing." As of March 19, 2002, no specifics pertaining to hearings were available. The Governor's office reports it has never handled a hearing.

If the Governor's decision is to not grant a conditional pardon, a letter is sent to the applicant expressing the rationale. A copy is sent to the Commissioner.

If a conditional pardon is granted to an inmate eligible for parole, the Governor will sign the original and one copy of the pardon documents. All other copies may be stamped with his signature. If a conditional pardon is granted to an inmate not eligible for parole, the applicant will be placed on parole and be subject to all the conditions of parole, plus any additional conditions issued by the Governor. The period of supervision will be to the expiration date of the original sentence. The Parole Board will act as an advisory body in any matter to hear and make recommendations to the Governor should any alleged violation of the conditions occur.

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

Last Updated: 06/30/14