Administrative Rule 20.25.901

20.25.901 APPLICATIONS FOR CLEMENCY

  1. Application forms for executive clemency may be obtained at the board's main office in Deer Lodge, Montana or from the Board's web site.
  2. Applications must be in writing, signed by the applicant, notarized, and filed with the board's Deer Lodge office.  Applications may be filed only by the offender convicted of the crime, by the offender's attorney acting on the offender's behalf and with his/her consent, or by a court-appointed next friend, guardian, or conservator acting on the offender's behalf.
    1. The applications shall state the type of executive clemency requested; pardon, commutation, respite, or remission of fines or forfeitures.
    2. The application for clemency must include:
      1. a certified copy of all court documents relating to the particulars of the crime and sentencing;
      2. details concerning the circumstances relating to the social condition of the applicant prior to the commission of the crime, at the time the offense was committed, and at the time of the application;
      3. three letters of support from reputable persons;
      4. psychological reports that are available at the time of application;
      5. verification that supports the reasons for the applicant's request for executive clemency; and
      6. a signed waiver of confidentiality.
  3. An offender whose application has been denied may not apply for executive clemency unless the offender submits evidence of substantial change in circumstances since the last application.  A hearing panel will screen reapplications for clemency and if the offender has submitted evidence of substantial change of circumstances, it will determine if it will order an investigation and hearing as indicated in ARM 20.25.902.
  4. Clemency applications that have been submitted and denied prior to October 1, 2015, may be resubmitted to the board for additional consideration, subject to this section (4) and the applicable provisions of administrative rules.
    1. If a resubmitted application is substantively similar to a previously denied application, then the board shall proceed as follows:
      1. Board staff will first assess whether an application is substantively similar to a previous application.  The staff shall submit a report to the hearing panel with its assessment of whether the application is substantively similar to a previous application.
      2. If an application is substantively similar to a previous application, the board's hearing panel may assess the application without further investigation, evaluation, or a hearing.  The panel may rely on the existing record.
      3. The panel may, in its discretion, direct that further investigation or evaluation be conducted, or that an additional hearing be held.
    2. If a resubmitted application includes substantive new material or evidence, the panel may request that an investigation be conducted with regard to the new material or evidence.  The panel, in its discretion may also request a psychological evaluation or schedule a hearing that may be limited to the new material or evidence.
    3. Upon completion of its assessment, the board shall within ten working days forward to the Governor's office its recommendation to grant or deny clemency, together with all relevant documents.  The board shall also forward to the Governor's office a proposed executive order if its recommendation is to grant clemency.  If the board's recommendation is to deny clemency, it shall forward to the Governor's office and the applicant a board-recommended disposition summarizing the reasons for denial.
    4. If the board recommends denial of a resubmitted application without a hearing, it will give notice to the applicant and will post the recommended denial on the board's web site within 21 calendar days of the board's recommendation.
    5. The board shall conduct a hearing, if after review by the Governor's office, the Governor directs that a hearing be conducted.  The board shall direct that further investigation into specific aspects of an application be conducted if requested by the Governor.
  5. In cases in which the death penalty has been imposed, the application for executive clemency must be received at the board's Deer Lodge office no later than ten days after the district court sets a date of execution.
  6. Any person convicted of a crime after July 1, 1973, will automatically have restored, upon completion of custody and supervision, all civil rights that were lost with the conviction.  The person need not apply for executive clemency to have the person's civil rights restored.  (History: 46-23-218, MCA; IMP, 42-23-301, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 1552, Eff. 12/1/78; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 297, Eff. 2/26/93; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 168, Eff. 1/28/94; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 290, Eff. 2/12/99; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 2816, Eff. 12/10/10; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 1619, Eff. 8/10/12; AMD, 2016 MAR p. 139, Eff. 1/23/16)