Since less than 6% of clemency applications in Tennessee made it to the Governor’s desk in 2018, Tennessee’s new Governor, Bill Lee, has made a handful of tweaks to the clemency process that could have a tremendous impact.
The changes made are as follows:
- Pardon applications shifted from requiring “a specific and compelling need for a pardon” to requiring “a compelling reason for a pardon.”
- Commutation applications removed the rigid legal standard that offenders show “clear and convincing evidence” of rehabilitation. It added that rehabilitation should be measured “relative to the nature of the offense(s) committed.”
- Exoneration applications eliminated the “clear and convincing evidence” standard.
Nashville Defense Attorney Ben Raybin said that “These changes are a step in the right direction and are reflective of Gov. Lee’s commitment to criminal justice reform.”
You can read more about this topic on the Tennessean’s post “Gov. Bill Lee loosens requirements for pardons, commutations; defense attorneys hopeful”