The State of Tennessee provides a Governor’s Pardon. All pardon applications are handled by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole Executive Clemency unit.
After an application is received by the Board, the Board will determine whether or not the application will continue to a formal hearing. If a formal hearing is granted, all parties involved with the case will received notice of the hearing.
Pardon hearings are public, and any Board members not attending will administratively review the application. The Board will make a recommendation and send it to the Governor, who is the ultimate deciding authority on whether to grant clemency. The Governor’s counsel notifies the board of the decision, and the board notifies the petitioner.
In order to be eligible for a pardon, the applicant must follow a certain criteria: the sentence must be completed, there can be no convictions within five (5) years of the discharge of the sentence, the person must demonstrate good citizenship, and has demonstrated, with proper verification, a specific and compelling reason for needing a pardon. This reason must be certified by at least five (5) people (not including members of family or petitioner himself or herself), and verified in writing by at least one (1) person (not including members of family or petitioner himself or herself). The board may waive this requirement, however, if circumstances require.