THE PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PARDONS
LT. Governor Jim Cawley chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons.
The Board of Pardons is an independent, separate entity that has the authority to make recommendations to the Governor for pardons, reprieves, commutations of sentence, and executive clemency. Each request is reviewed thoroughly by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, who produce reports reviewed by the Lieutenant Governor and the other members of the Board of Pardons.
The board then decides whether or not to grant a public hearing. These public hearings give both the applicant and the victims or their families the opportunity to be heard. The Board then makes a recommendation for clemency based upon the testimony.
The Governor is not bound to accept the recommendation of the Board of Pardons, and exercises independent judgment in all cases.
The Board, which first met in 1874, consists of five members, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, and three members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senate, including a crime victim, a corrections expert, and a doctor
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