Chapter 1. Powers And Duties Of Governor of California Penal Code >> Title 6. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 1.
The general authority to grant reprieves, pardons and
commutations of sentence is conferred upon the Governor by Section 8
of Article V of the Constitution of the State of California.
(a) The Board of Parole Hearings may report to the Governor,
from time to time, the names of any and all persons imprisoned in any
state prison who, in its judgment, ought to have a commutation of
sentence or be pardoned and set at liberty on account of good
conduct, or unusual term of sentence, or any other cause, including
evidence of intimate partner battering and its effects. For purposes
of this section, "intimate partner battering and its effects" may
include evidence of the nature and effects of physical, emotional, or
mental abuse upon the beliefs, perceptions, or behavior of victims
of domestic violence if it appears the criminal behavior was the
result of that victimization.
(b) (1) The board, in reviewing a prisoner's suitability for
parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to any
information or evidence that, at the time of the commission of the
crime, the prisoner had experienced intimate partner battering, but
was convicted of an offense that occurred prior to August 29, 1996.
The board shall state on the record the information or evidence that
it considered pursuant to this subdivision, and the reasons for the
parole decision. The board shall annually report to the Legislature
and the Governor on the cases the board considered pursuant to this
subdivision during the previous year, including the board's decisions
and the specific and detailed findings of its investigations of
(2) The report for the Legislature to be submitted pursuant to
paragraph (1) shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the
(3) The fact that a prisoner has presented evidence of intimate
partner battering cannot be used to support a finding that the
prisoner lacks insight into his or her crime and its causes.
(c) When a prisoner committed his or her controlling offense, as
defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3051, prior to attaining 23
years of age, the board, in reviewing a prisoner's suitability for
parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to the
diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the
hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased
maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law.
In the case of a person twice convicted of felony, the
application for pardon or commutation of sentence shall be made
directly to the Governor, who shall transmit all papers and documents
relied upon in support of and in opposition to the application to
the Board of Parole Hearings.
When an application is made to the Governor for pardon or
commutation of sentence, or when an application has been referred to
the Board of Parole Hearings, the Governor or the board may require
the judge of the court before which the conviction was had, or the
district attorney by whom the action was prosecuted, to furnish the
Governor or the board, without delay, with a summarized statement of
the facts proved on the trial, and of any other facts having
reference to the propriety of granting or refusing said application,
together with his or her recommendation for or against the granting
of the same and his or her reason for such recommendation.
At least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an application
for a pardon, written notice of the intention to apply therefor,
signed by the person applying, must be served upon the district
attorney of the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by
affidavit, of the service must be presented to the Governor.
(a) At least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an
application for a commutation of sentence, written notice of the
intention to apply therefor, signed by the person applying, shall be
served upon the district attorney of the county where the conviction
was had, and proof, by affidavit, of the service shall be presented
to the Governor.
(b) The district attorney may submit a written recommendation to
the Governor for or against commutation of sentence.
(c) The district attorney shall make reasonable efforts to notify
the victim or victims of the crime or crimes related to the
application and the victims' families who may also submit a
recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation of
The provisions of Sections 4804 and 4805 are not applicable:
(a) When there is imminent danger of the death of the person
convicted or imprisoned.
(b) When the term of imprisonment of the applicant is within 10
days of its expiration.
(a) At the beginning of every regular session of the
Legislature, the Governor shall file a written report with the
Legislature that shall include each application that was granted for
each case of reprieve, pardon, or commutation by the Governor, or his
or her predecessor in office, during the immediately preceding
regular session of the Legislature, stating the name of the person
convicted, the crime of which the person was convicted, the sentence
and its date, the date of the reprieve, pardon, or commutation, and
the reason for granting the same. The report shall be submitted in
compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the written report filed with
the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be available to the
Every application for pardon or commutation of sentence
shall be accompanied by a full statement of any compensation being
paid to any person for procuring or assisting in procuring the pardon
or commutation or the pardon or commutation shall be denied.
Every person who receives or agrees to receive any
compensation or who receives any gift for procuring or assisting in
procuring a pardon or commutation of sentence for any applicant must
file with the Governor a full statement of the amount and character
of such compensation or gift within 10 days of the receipt thereof.
Any failure to file a full statement as required by this section is a
(a) The Board of Parole Hearings shall succeed to and shall
exercise and perform all powers and duties granted to and imposed
upon the Advisory Pardon Board by law.
(b) The Advisory Pardon Board is abolished.
(c) The report required of the Board of Parole Hearings by Section
4814 may be included in the report of the department.
Upon request of the Governor, the Board of Parole Hearings
shall investigate and report on all applications for reprieves,
pardons, and commutation of sentence and shall make such
recommendations to the Governor with reference thereto as to it may
seem advisable. To that end the board shall examine and consider all
applications so referred and all transcripts of judicial proceedings
and all affidavits or other documents submitted in connection
therewith, and shall have power to employ assistants and take
testimony and to examine witnesses under oath and to do any and all
things necessary to make a full and complete investigation of and
concerning all applications referred to it. Members of the board and
its administrative officer are, and each of them is, hereby
authorized to administer oaths.
In the case of applications of persons twice convicted of a
felony, the Board of Parole Hearings, after investigation, shall
transmit its written recommendation upon such application to the
Governor, together with all papers filed in connection with the