In general, clemency refers to the moderation or even lowering of a jail sentence. This is a good tool for people who pursued the appeals process but have no other options.
Clemency can take more than a year to pursue. If the Clemency and Pardons Board looks at your request, they will take numerous factors into consideration before making their decision.
Starting the clemency process
Washington State Legislature discusses the process of clemency and how it works. First, your attorney will file a petition for clemency on your behalf.
Within this petition, they must include information like details about your conviction(s), identification of pending proceedings, past criminal convictions, statements regarding rehabilitation efforts or extraordinary circumstances, and if all other applicable remedies were already exhausted.
Review of your petition
The Board will then review this petition. They will determine whether or not you will get a hearing. If you get one, the Board will listen to testimonies from your support team and yourself, as well as anyone connected with the victim(s) of the crime.
From there, they will consider the impact of the crime on the victim, on the community, and on any survivors of the victim. Your showing of feeling responsible and remorseful will also go into consideration, along with your positive development and personal changes.
They will give their recommendation about clemency to the Governor, who will then either agree with their decision or refute it. Thus, it is a somewhat lengthy process that can take a bit of time to see the results, which is why it is often the last step.