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Office of the Pardon Attorney

The Office of the Pardon Attorney, within the US Department of Justice, in consultation with the Attorney General of the United States or his or her designee, assists the President of the United States in the exercise of executive clemency as authorized under Article II, Section 2, of the US Constitution. Under the Constitution, the President's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for investigation and review. The Pardon Attorney prepares the Department's recommendation to the President for final disposition of each application.

Executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, conditional pardon, commutation of sentence, conditional commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, respite, reprieve and amnesty.


Since 1789 various offices within the federal government have provided the President with administrative support for the exercise of executive clemency. A Presidential order in 1865 formally delegated this responsibility to the Department of Justice. The office's current name was adopted in 1894.[1]

The office currently has a staff of that includes the Deputy Pardon Attorney, an Executive Officer, 4 staff attorneys, and its clerical staff and paralegals who assist in the review of all petitions.


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions | PARDON | Department of Justice". Retrieved 2018-03-04. 

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