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Clemency: a last resort for post-conviction relief

One final way to have your prison sentence reduced is by asking either your state Governor (for state convictions) or the President of the Unites States (for federal convictions) to essentially “pardon” you. Each state has its own requirements for submitting a request for clemency, but in most cases they will expect you to hand-write a letter. This should be thought of as a last resort, as requests for clemency are almost never granted these days. President Joe Biden, for example has not granted a single clemency request since he took office last year.

However, don’t let this discourage you. There is almost always some other legal avenue for post-conviction relief available to you if your request for clemency is denied. An attorney will be able to guide you through your options and form a plan that is most likely to get you relief.