Experienced Appeals Lawyer in Orlando
At Appeals Law Group, our services extend beyond filing appeals for those who are dissatisfied with their convictions or wrongfully convicted. In some cases, we strive to greatly improve peoples' lives by seeking a reduction in their sentences and punishments. For instance, if our client has been sentenced to death for a crime such as murder, we will ask that the government shows mercy by sparing the life of the condemned inmate.
Clemency refers to an act of mercy by the executive branch of government whereby a defendant's punishment is lessened. In a death penalty case, this usually means sparing the life of the inmate who is sentenced to death. Since the 1970s, nearly 300 clemencies have been granted in capital cases for humanitarian reasons, and this includes doubts over the defendant's guilt.
Commuting Death Sentences
In 1977, clemency was granted to Georgia inmate, Charles Harris Hill under Gov. George Busbee by the Pardons Board. The Pardons Board determined that Hill's death sentence was disproportional to the sentence that was given to the more culpable co-defendant, who was the actual killer. In 1986, clemency was granted to a New Mexico inmate by Gov. Toney Anaya because of his position on the death penalty.
In 1990, under Gov. Joe Frank Harris, the Board of Pardons and Paroles commuted William Moore's death sentence because of his exemplary prison record, his remorse, religious conversion, and the pleas for clemency from the victim's family. In January of 2003, Governor Ryan took an unprecedented step and granted clemency to all death row inmates. Ryan had concluded that the process surrounding capital punishment had become so corrupted that he had no other choice but to grant clemency to death row inmates.
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Clemency is an act of grace based on fairness, justice and forgiveness. One who is granted clemency does not have their crime forgotten, rather it is treated more leniently. Clemency is similar to a pardon is that it is an act of grace. "Commutation" of the offender's sentence is the lessening of the punishment based on his or her good conduct after their conviction. Clemency can be very powerful, especially for someone who has received a harsh punishment for a crime.