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  • HOPE: The DoD’s Clemency and Parole Boards

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    A sentence of confinement is not always final. A service member in confinement due to a court-martial conviction can request special clemency or parole from the appropriate military authority. If granted, the service member can be released early before serving the total amount of confinement adjudged at court-martial.

    MJA has successfully petitioned for clemency or parole on behalf of service members convicted of some of the most serious offenses under the UCMJ. If you have a loved one serving a substantial sentence of confinement due to a court-martial conviction, don’t delay in seeking legal advice. Contact our military defense lawyers now to learn more.

    About Clemency and Parole Boards

    The military’s clemency and parole boards have the authority to reduce sentences of confinement awarded to service members at court-martial or grant parole. Clemency means suspending the unserved part of a court-martial sentence, to including upgrading a discharge or restoring someone to active duty. Parole is an early release from confinement under the supervision of a parole officer. There are three clemency and parole boards for the military:

    The boards are composed of five member panels who review case specific requests for clemency and parole based on objective criteria.

    Eligibility for Clemency and Parole

    DoDI 1325.07, Administration of Military Correctional Facilities and Clemency and Parole Authority, prescribes the procedures to carry out operation of the military’s correctional programs and the administration of military clemency and parole programs.

    The instruction states that a prisoner is eligible for release on parole when requested by the prisoner, and when:

    1. The prisoner has an approved unsuspended punitive discharge or dismissal or an approved administrative discharge or retirement; and
    2. The unsuspended sentence or aggregate sentence to confinement is 12 months or more. In cases in which the sentence to confinement is less than 30 years, the prisoner must have served one-third of the term of confinement, but in no case less than 6 months.

    Factors Considered by the Clemency and Parole Boards

    DoDI 1325.07 requires Military Clemency and Parole Boards to evaluate the following factors when considering an individual for clemency or parole :

    1. The nature and the circumstances of the prisoner’s offenses;
    2. The prisoner’s military and civilian history;
    3. The prisoner’s confinement file, including offense-related rehabilitation programs;
    4. The personal characteristics of the prisoner, including age, education, marital and family status, and psychological profile;
    5. The impact of the prisoner’s offense on the victim and the prisoner’s efforts to make restitution to the victim;
    6. The protection and welfare of society;
    7. The need for good order and discipline in the Service; and
    8. Other matters, as appropriate

    While these are general factors, the Clemency and Parole Boards are required to make case-specific determinations based on a convicted service members inmate’s personal facts and circumstances.

    Petition for Your Freedom Today

    A sentence of confinement does not have to be final. MJA has successfully petitioned for clemency or parole on behalf of service members convicted of some of the most serious offenses under the UCMJ. If you have a loved one serving a  sentence of confinement due to a court-martial conviction, don’t delay in seeking legal advice. Contact our military defense lawyers now to learn more.

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