Commutation of Sentence& Pardon Applications
How it Works
Under the authority of the state constitution, the governor has the power to grant executive clemency through pardons and commutations.
The Michigan parole board reviews clemency applications and makes recommendations to the governor. In some cases, the board may conduct a public hearing to gather comments from interested parties prior to deciding a recommendation.
In a commutation, the life sentence is reduced to a number of years already served by the prisoner and parole is granted. State law allows any prisoner serving any length of time to apply for a commutation and requires a public hearing before the board can recommend executive clemency in all cases, including pardons. In a pardon, the prisoner’s sentence is effectively voided and the prisoner is freed.