Executive Clemency Information

There are four types of executive clemency:

  • restoration of citizenship (right to vote and hold elected office)
  • special restoration of citizenship (firearm rights)
  • pardon, and
  • commutation of sentence.  

The Governor grants clemency for state convictions.

The President grants clemency for federal convictions.

     1.  Restoration of citizenship: This clemency restores the right of a person to vote and hold public office. The Board of Parole does not process these applications. Submit them to Governor's Office or call (515) 281-5211.

     2.  Special Restoration of Citizenship: This clemency restores the firearm rights of a person convicted of a non-forcible felony or other state offenses. Individuals may apply five years after they have completed their sentence.

     3.  Pardon:  A full and unconditional pardon restores the right to: 

  • vote.
  • hold elected office.
  • firearm rights, and
  • relieves the offender from further punishment imposed by of the criminal offense.

 A pardon will not erase or expunge the record of conviction. Individuals convicted of a state crime may apply for a pardon ten years after they have completed their sentence. 

     4.  Commutation of Sentence: This clemency reduces or lessens the original sentence. This follows an active and ongoing period of incarceration. An offender convicted of a life sentence may apply for a commutation of sentence once every ten years.


Exec. Clemency & Commutations General FAQs