The Louisiana Board of Pardons is governed by R.S. 15:572 et seq. The following rules were adopted by the Board on October 15, 1997 to facilitate the application process. Please read and follow all instructions and answer all questions pertaining to your current status, i.e. incarcerated, parolee, probation, or other.
Please do not send any documents other than the application and required attachments. Any letters of recommendation should be submitted after you have been notified that you will receive a hearing.
RULE 1 – Applications
- The board shall meet on regularly scheduled dates as determined by it, and at such other times as the chairman may determine are necessary for the purpose of reviewing and taking action on applications for pardons pending before it and to transact such other business as it deems necessary. The calendar of fixed hearing dates and tentative dates shall be maintained at the Board of Pardons office and said calendar shall be available to the public. The hearing dates shall also be posted on the web site maintained by the board.
- Applications must be received in the Board of Pardons office by the 15th of the month to be placed on the docket for consideration the following month.
- Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and all actions of the Board shall require the favorable vote of at least four members of the Board.
- Any offender sentenced to death shall submit an application within one year from the date of the direct appeal denial.
- Any offender sentenced to life may not apply until he has served fifteen (15) years from the date of sentence, unless he has sufficient evidence which would have caused him to have been found not guilty.
- No application will be considered by the Board until it deems the application to be complete in accordance with the rules and procedures in this Chapter.
RULE 2 – Filing Procedure
- ALL APPLICANTS
- Every application must be submitted on the form approved by the Board of Pardons and must contain the following information:
- name of applicant;
- prison number (Department of Corrections (DOC #) document number);
- date of birth;
- education (highest grade completed);
- age at time of offense;
- present age;
- offender class;
- place of incarceration, (incarcerated applicant only);
- parish of conviction/judicial district/court docket number;
- offense(s) charged, convicted of or plead to;
- parish where offense(s) committed;
- date of sentence;
- length of sentence;
- time served;
- prior parole and/or probation;
- when and how parole or probation completed;
- prior clemency hearing/recommendation/approval;
- reason for requesting clemency;
- relief request and narrative detailing the events surrounding the offense(s);
- institutional disciplinary reports (incarcerated applicants only), total disciplinary reports, number within the last 12 months, nature and date of the last violation, and custody status.
- The application shall be signed and dated by applicant and shall contain a prison or mailing address and home address.
- An application must be completed; if any required information does not apply the response should be”NA”.
- Every application must be submitted on the form approved by the Board of Pardons and must contain the following information:
- In addition to the information submitted by application, the following required documents must be attached as they apply to each applicant.
- INCARCERATED APPLICANTS
- LA. R.S. 15:572(B) FIRST OFFENDER PARDONS
Any applicant presently confined in any institution must attach a current master prison record and time computation/jail credit work sheet and have the signature of a classification officer verifying the conduct of the applicant as set out in A.1.u. and a copy of conduct report. Applicants sentenced to death must attach proof of direct appeal denial.
Applicants presently under parole supervision or who have completed parole supervision must attach a copy of their master prison record or parole certificate.
Applicants presently under probation supervision or who have completed probationary period must attach a certified copy of sentencing minutes or copy of automatic first offender pardon.
Applicants who have received an Automatic First Offender Pardons must attach a copy of the Automatic First Offender Pardon.
- No additional information or documents may be submitted until applicant has been notified that he/she will be given a hearing unless applicant has a life sentence and has served less than 15 years and has documentation proving innocence. The Board of Pardons will not be responsible for items submitted prior to notification that a hearing will be granted.
RULE 3 – Discretionary Powers of the Board
- The Board of Pardons at its discretion may deny any applicant a hearing for any of the following reasons: serious nature of the offense; insufficient time served on sentence; insufficient time after release; proximity of parole/good time date; institutional disciplinary reports; probation/parole-unsatisfactory/violated; past criminal record; or any other factor determined by the board. However, nothing in this chapter shall prevent the board from hearing any case.
- Any applicant denied under this Chapter shall be notified in writing of the reason(s) for denial and thereafter may file a new application two years from date of the letter of denial. Any applicant with a life sentence denied after August 15, 2004 may reapply seven years after the initial denial; every five years after the subsequent denial.
- Any fraudulent documents or information submitted by applicant will result in an automatic denial by the Board and no new application will be accepted until four years have elapsed from the date of letter of denial. Any lifer denied because of fraudulent documents may reapply ten years from the date of letter of initial denial; seven years if subsequent denial; and six years of denials thereafter.
- In any matters not specifically covered by these rules, the Board shall have discretionary powers to act.
- When the Louisiana Board of Pardons receives a favorable recommendation from any of the three existing Louisiana Risk Review Panels (South, Central, and/or North Louisiana Risk Review Panel), said recommendations shall be accepted and, with a completed application, may be processed in the same manner as a favorable decision by the Board of Pardons on any application considered under the provisions of this section without the necessity for further consideration. A Risk Review Panel recommendation and application may be set for a hearing at a time and date designated by the Chairman, at his sole discretion.
- Contact with the Board of Pardons or any member is prohibited except by appearing/testifying at a public hearing or by written letter addressed to the Board of Pardons.
- If a Board Member is improperly contacted, he/she must immediately notify the individual that the contact is illegal. The letter must be accompanied by a copy of R.S. 15:573.1, and the contact must be reported to the other Board Members.
- Any prohibited contact after an individual has been informed of the prohibition as provided in Rule 4(B) shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than six months or both.
- All letters in favor of pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence are subject to public inspection. Exceptions to this Section are:
- letters from any victim of a crime committed by the applicant being considered for pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence, or any person writing on behalf of the victim;
- any letters written in opposition to pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence;
- All letters written by elected or appointed public officials in favor of or opposition to pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence received after August 15, 1997 are subject to public inspection and shall be recorded in a central register maintained by the Board. The register shall contain, the name of the individual whose pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence is subject of the letter, the name of the public official who is the author of the letter and the date the letter was received by the Board.
- After notice to an applicant that a hearing has been granted, the applicant must provide the Board of Pardons office with proof of advertisement within ninety (90) days from the date of notice to grant a hearing. Advertisement must be published in the official journal of the parish where the offense occurred. This ad must state: “I, (applicant’s name), (document number – Department of Correction number), (state), have applied for clemency for my conviction for (crime) which occurred (day/month/year), in (parish/county), (state). If you have any comments or wish to communicate with the Board of Pardons please call (225) 342-5421.” The advertisement must be published for three (3) days within a thirty (30) day period without cost to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, Board of Pardons.
- Applicant may submit additional information, e.g., letters of recommendation and copies of certificates of achievement and employment/residence agreement.
- After receipt of all documents required by Rules 3 and 5(A) and the clemency investigation from the appropriate probation and parole district, the Board shall set the matter for public hearing.
- At least thirty days prior to public hearing date, the Board shall give written notice of the date, time and place to the following:
- the district attorney and sheriff of the parish in which the applicant was convicted; and in Orleans Parish, the superintendent of police;
- the applicant;
- the victim who has been physically or psychologically injured by the applicant (if convicted of that offense), and the victims spouse or next of kin, unless the injured victim’s spouse or next of kin advises the Board, in writing, that such notification is not desired;
- the spouse or next of kin of a deceased victim when the offender responsible for the death is the applicant (if convicted of that offense), unless the spouse or next of kin advises the Board, in writing, that such notification is not desired;
- the Crime Victims Services Bureau of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections; and
- any other interested person who notifies the Board of Pardons in writing, giving name and return address.
- The district attorney, injured victim, spouse or next of kin, and any other persons who desire to do so shall be given a reasonable opportunity to attend the hearing. The district attorney or his representative, victim, victim’s family, and a victim advocacy group, may appear before the Board of Pardons by means of telephone communication from the office of the local district attorney.
- Only three persons in favor, to include the applicant and three in opposition to include the victim/victim’s family member, will be allowed to speak at the hearing. However, there is no limit on written correspondence in favor of and/or opposition to the applicant’s request.
- If an applicant is released from custody and/or supervision prior to public hearing date the case will be closed without notice to applicant. Applicant may re-apply two years from the date of release.
- Applicant’s failure to attend and/or to notify the Board of Pardons Office of his/her inability to attend the hearing will result in an automatic denial. The applicant may re-apply two years from the date of scheduled hearing. Lifers who fail to attend and/or to notify the Board of Pardons Office of his/her inability to attend may re- apply in six years if it is his/her initial hearing, three years if subsequent hearing and two years thereafter.
- The Board shall notify the applicant of the denial. Applicant may submit a new application two years after the date of letter of denial. Any applicant serving life may apply seven years after initial denial, and every five years after the subsequent denial.
- The Board shall terminate hearing should the applicant become disorderly, threatening or insolent. Any hearing terminated due to applicant’s disorderly, threatening or insolent behavior is an automatic denial. The applicant may re- apply four years from the date of hearing except those serving life sentence who may reapply ten years from the date of initial hearing termination, seven years from the subsequent hearing termination and six years from hearing termination thereafter.
- The Board shall notify the applicant after its receipt of notification that favorable recommendation was denied or no action was taken by the governor. Applicant may submit a new application one year from the date of the letter of denial or notice of no action.
- An applicant who has been paroled, released under good time parole supervision, or released from sentence within one year of the date of letter of denial or notice of no action by the governor, may submit a new application two years after the date of release from confinement.
- LOUISIANA BOARD OF PARDONS
- P.O. BOX 94304
- BATON ROUGE, LA 70804-9304
RULE 4 – Contact with the Board of Pardons
RULE 5 – Hearings Granted
RULE 6 – Notice of Public Hearing Dates
RULE 7 – Denials by Board after Public Hearing
RULE 8 – Denial-No Action Taken by Governor after Favorable Recommendation
RULE 9 – Governor Grants
The Office of the Governor will notify the applicant if any clemency is granted. Applicant may submit a new application for additional relief four years from the date of granted notice.
Do not send any documents other than the application and required attachments. Any letters of recommendation should be submitted only after you have been notified that you will receive a hearing. Any documents other than those required will not be retained. Applicant should maintain a copy of documents submitted, as this office will not furnish copies.
If there are any questions, please call. A support staff member will handle all telephone inquiries.
MAIL YOUR RETURNED SIGNED, APPLICATION WITH THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION TO: