Clemency Petition

A clemency petition is filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth who can recommend that it be reviewed by the Parole Board. The Board determines whether it qualifies as Extraordinary Circumstances and make a recommendation to the Governor on whether to grant the petition or not.

Clemency or pardons are considered for exceptional situations. Usually Virginia governors are reluctant to substitute their judgment for that of the courts. However, if an individual feels able to provide substantial evidence of such exceptional circumstances, he or she may submit a petition for pardon to the Governor. (If this petition for clemency is denied, the petitioner has no right of appeal, but may reapply after a two-year period.)

A Conditional Pardon  is available only to people who are currently incarcerated. It is usually granted for early release and involves certain conditions; if you violate these conditions, you could be put back in prison. There must be extraordinary circumstances for an inmate to be considered for such a pardon.