The California Constitution gives the Governor the authority to grant pardons. The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation and improve public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry. A pardon may also remove unjust collateral consequences of conviction, such as deportation and permanent family separation.
Pardons do not forgive or minimize the harm caused by crime – instead, they recognize the pardon grantees’ self-development and rehabilitation since then.
The Governor weighs numerous factors in his review of clemency applications, including an applicant’s conduct since the offense, whether the grant is in the interest of justice and consistent with public safety, and the grant’s impact on the community, including crime victims and survivors.
While in office, Governor Newsom has granted a total of 144 pardons, 123 commutations, and 36 reprieves.
The Governor’s Office encourages victims, survivors, and witnesses to register with CDCR’s Office of Victims and Survivors Rights and Services to receive information about an incarcerated person’s status. For general Information about victim services, to learn about victim-offender dialogues, or to register or update a registration confidentially, please visit www.cdcr.ca.gov/Victim_Services/ or call 1-877-256-6877 (toll-free).
Copies of the gubernatorial clemency certificates announced today can be found here.
Additional information on executive clemency can be found here.