Monday, January 9, 2017

What a "Sincere" Commutation Denial Looks Like

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Pardon Attorney
Washington, D.C. 20530

January 6, 2017


Re: Mr. X
Case No. xxxxxxx

Dear Mr. Y

The application for commutation of sentence of your client, X, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 6, 2017 .  Please advise your client accordingly.

Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.  As a matter of well-established policy, we do not disclose the reasons for the decision in a clemency matter.  In addition, deliberative communications pertaining to agency and presidential decision-making are confidential and not available under existing case law interpreting the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act.  Your client will become eligible to reapply for commutation one year from the date on which the President denied the current application.


Office of the Pardon Attorney

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