Clemency Requests

Clemency is an extraordinary measure. The Colorado Constitution, Article IV, §7, provides the Governor with the exclusive power to grant clemency:

The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction, for all offenses except treason, and except in case of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.

Clemency in Colorado has two types: commutation and pardon. A pardon may be granted after a conviction and is a public forgiveness for a crime after completion of the sentence. A commutation modifies a sentence. The procedure the Colorado Legislature has enacted for the commute and pardon process is found in Colorado Revised Statutes, §§ 16-17-101, 102. There are no fees required to apply for executive clemency and no time constraints under which any application for executive clemency must be processed. 

Applicants will begin the process by completing the Executive Clemency Application and choosing the type of executive clemency sought.

Executive Clemency Applications, along with all required attachments, must be submitted to:
Mary Kanan
Director of Executive Clemency
940 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80203

Questions regarding Clemency Applications may be directed to: Mary Kanan, 303-763-2428.

Commute Process

  • An offender must work with his/her case manager to obtain the Executive Clemency Application.
  • The case manager assists the offender by explaining the Executive Clemency Advisory Board Eligibility Criteria and offering guidance in completing the application and other pertinent documents that are required.
  • Once completed, the application packet is reviewed at the offender's facility to determine if criteria have been met.
  • If the application is complete, CDOC’s Office of Offender Services reviews and submits the comprehensive packet to the Director of Executive Clemency for further action.
  • The Director convenes the Executive Clemency Advisory Board. 
  • After review of clemency application packets, the board recommendations are forwarded to the Governor. 
  • The board may table an application for consideration at a later date.
  • Once submitted, the Governor takes the application under advisement.

Pardon Process

  • The application is processed and information verified.
  • The Director convenes the Executive Clemency Advisory Board. 
  • After review of clemency application packets, the board recommendations are forwarded to the Governor.
  • The board may table an application for consideration at a later date.
  • Once submitted, the Governor takes the application under advisement.

If clemency is granted, the Governor notifies the legislature. The applicant is notified when a request for executive clemency is either granted or denied.