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A pardon is act of forgiveness granted by the Governor for a crime or crimes committed by an individual. Although a pardon can only be granted by the Governor, the Pardon and Parole Board receives and reviews the completed pardon application and then conducts a hearing in order to issue a recommendation to the Governor.
The pardon application process is lengthy due to the serious nature of pardoning a conviction or convictions. All information provided in the application packet must be researched and verified; therefore a pardon application process can take up to one (1) year after a completed application is received. There is no fee to apply for a pardon.
The Role of the Pardon and Parole Board and the Governor
As per statute, the Pardon and Parole Board must make a favorable recommendation to the Governor in order for the pardon to be considered by the Governor.
A pardon restores an individual’s civil rights to them. A pardon is the first step necessary in order to receive an expungement of a criminal record.
There are several requirements to determine eligibility for a pardon. These are:
The pardon application must be filled out completely, signed, dated by the applicant, and notarized where required. All required documents must be attached in order for the application to be considered complete and the process to move forward.
The application and instructions should be carefully reviewed before completing. A application may downloaded by clicking on the link, To apply for a pardon the applicant must submit a completed pardon application and attach all required documentation.
Included in the application packet, but not limited to is the following required documents:
When complete, send all documents to the Parole Board at:
Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board
P.O. Box 53448
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152
Attn: Pardon Request
Pardon Applicant's Responsibility
It is the applicant’s responsibility to attach to the application and the required attachments. The application will not be processed until it is complete.
If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified of the missing information. If there is missing information, your application will be held and the process delayed until the information is provided.
The Pardon and Parole Board will notify the applicant when the applicant has been sent for pre-pardon investigation and then once it has been scheduled on the docket for review.
APPLICANTS SHOULD KEEP A COPY OF THE APPLICATION AND ANY ATTACHMENTS WHICH ARE SUBMITTED WITH THE PARDON APPLICATION.
Processing of the Pardon Application
Upon receiving a complete application, OSBI reports are ordered and received. This process may take anywhere from two (2) weeks to several months depending upon OSBI resources available for processing such requests.
For in-state applications, the application is then assigned to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, District Office of Probation and Parole to have a pre-pardon investigation performed.
For out-of-state applications, the application is assigned to the Staff Attorney of the Pardon and Parole Board to conduct pre-pardon investigation.
By law, the investigating authority is allowed 70 days to complete the investigation. The investigator will verify all information submitted in the application and then compile a report and submit it to the Office of the General Counsel for the Parole Board.
The application is then placed on the next available docket for the Board to hear the request for Pardon. The Board reviews the information provided in the packet prior to the meeting.
An applicant may choose to appear before the Board and speak on his/her behalf. They may also bring with them a representative; however, only one person will be allowed to speak to the Board regarding the reasons for needing the Pardon. The speaker will be given two (2) minutes to speak to the Board. The Board may or may not have questions for the applicant.
The Board will vote immediately after the presentation by the applicant. The Board may choose to deny the application or to recommend the pardon to the Governor.The applicant may contact the Parole Board Administrative Office on Monday following the Board meeting after 2:00 p.m. to obtain the results.
The entire application, along with a Pardon Certificate, will be submitted to the Governor for consideration. The Governor has 90 days to make a final determination regarding Pardon applications. The Governor may choose to deny or grant a pardon.
If a Pardon is granted, the Governor will sign a Pardon Certificate and file it with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. The Pardon and Parole Board will receive notification of the Governor's approval action and the Staff Attorney will then send a letter to the applicant, along with a copy of the pardon certificate.
If an applicant is denied, the Governor will file a denied certificate with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and communicate to the Staff Attorney of the Pardon and Parole Board of the denial. The Staff Attorney will then send a letter to the applicant regarding the denial.
If an applicant is denied at either stage of the process, meaning an unfavorable recommendation from the Pardon and Parole Board or an unfavorable approval from the Governor, the application may re-apply in one year from the date of denial. The applicant will need to resubmit a complete application.