(1) The clemency and pardons board shall receive petitions from individuals, organizations, and the department for review and commutation of sentences and pardoning of offenders in extraordinary cases, and shall make recommendations thereon to the governor.
(2) The board shall receive petitions from individuals or organizations for the restoration of civil rights lost by operation of state law as a result of convictions for federal offenses or out-of-state felonies. The board may issue certificates of restoration limited to engaging in political office. Any certifications granted by the board must be filed with the secretary of state to be effective. In all other cases, the board shall make recommendations to the governor.
(3) The board shall not recommend that the governor grant clemency under subsection (1) of this section until a public hearing has been held on the petition. The prosecuting attorney of the county where the conviction was obtained shall be notified at least thirty days prior to the scheduled hearing that a petition has been filed and the date and place at which the hearing on the petition will be held. The board may waive the thirty-day notice requirement in cases where it determines that waiver is necessary to permit timely action on the petition. A copy of the petition shall be sent to the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney shall make reasonable efforts to notify victims, survivors of victims, witnesses, and the law enforcement agency or agencies that conducted the investigation, of the date and place of the hearing. Information regarding victims, survivors of victims, or witnesses receiving this notice are confidential and shall not be available to the offender. The board shall consider statements presented as set forth in RCW 7.69.032. This subsection is intended solely for the guidance of the board. Nothing in this section is intended or may be relied upon to create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any person.
[2009 c 325 § 6; 2009 c 138 § 4; 1999 c 323 § 3; 1989 c 214 § 2; 1981 c 137 § 26. Formerly RCW 9.94A.260.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2009 c 138 § 4 and by 2009 c 325 § 6, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Intent -- 1999 c 323: "The pardoning power is vested in the governor under such regulations and restrictions as may be prescribed by law. To assist the governor in gathering the facts necessary to the wise exercise of this power, the legislature created the clemency and pardons board.
In recognition of the severe and detrimental impact of crime on victims, survivors of victims, and witnesses of crime, an intelligent recommendation on an application for clemency is dependent upon input from the victims and survivors of victims of crimes. It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that all victims and survivors of victims of crimes are afforded a meaningful role in the clemency process.
The impact of the crime on the community must also be assessed when passing upon an application for clemency. The prosecuting attorney who obtained the conviction and the law enforcement agency that conducted the investigation are uniquely situated to provide an accurate account of the offense and the impact felt by the community as a result of the offense. It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that the prosecuting attorney who obtained the conviction and the law enforcement agency that conducted the investigation are afforded a meaningful role in the clemency process." [1999 c 323 § 1.]
Effective date -- 1981 c 137: See RCW 9.94A.905.