Oregon law gives Governor Kitzhaber executive clemency power. This means that the Governor has the power to grant pardons, commutations, reprieves and remissions of fines:
- A pardon forgives a person for the crime that person committed. Only in extraordinary cases will the Governor consider granting a pardon while a person is still serving a sentence either in a penal institution or on parole.
- A commutation substitutes a less severe punishment for the original sentence than the person was given.
- A reprieve is temporary relief from punishment.
- The remission of fines is a reduction or cancellation of court-ordered fines imposed against the person.
To request clemency from Governor Kitzhaber, you must first decide which type of clemency (pardon, commutation, etc.) best applies to your situation. You must also provide the Governor with the necessary information to enable him to evaluate your application. It is your responsibility to provide the Governor with any information you believe will be helpful. If you do not provide the information required, your application may be denied on that basis alone.
If you have been convicted of multiple crimes, your application should specify which crime or crimes you wish the Governor's power of executive clemency to operate upon; you should also provide separate reasons why the Governor should grant clemency for each crime if seeking clemency for multiple crimes. Be advised that operation of executive clemency to more than a single conviction is unlikely.
Additionally, please be aware that the Governor regards executive clemency as an extraordinary remedy of last resort. Therefore, it is highly unlikely he will consider applications based upon allegedly wrongful convictions where applicants have not fully exhausted their appellate, post-conviction and habeas corpus remedies. Thus, if you feel you deserve clemency because you believe you were wrongfully convicted, you should not apply until you have fully exhausted all such available remedies.
To request a clemency application, please contact the Citizen's Representative Unit at 503-378-4582.