|The Board of Pardons, in its discretion, reviews pardon applications and
then determines whether they will grant a hearing for the individual.
The Board of Pardons does not disclose its criteria for granting
hearings or granting pardons. However, the Board of Pardons does
disclose some guidance on the factors considered in their
determination. When determining whether clemency should be granted for
pardon applicants, the Board of Pardons may treat each case
individually and weigh the actual case specific factors of the
underlying crime against the overall application. Some of the publicly
- Time elapsed since completion of sentencing requirements.
- Fulfillment of all sentencing requirements, including fines and costs.
- Positive life changes.
- Compelling need for the Pardon.
- Impact on the victim.
Commutation of Sentence:
- Appeals exhausted.
- Status of parole.
- How much time has been served.
- Status and resolution of misconducts, if any.
- Work record while in custody and completiton of programs.
- Impact on the victim.
What a Pardon does:
An unconditional pardon removes all disabilities resulting from
A Pardon forgives but does not forget.
A Pardon is the only instrument available to restore one’s right to
bear arms in Nevada.
A Pardon does NOT:.
A Pardon does not overturn a judgment of conviction.
A Pardon does not erase or obliterate the fact that
one was once convicted of a crime.
A Pardon does not substitute a good reputation for
one that is bad.
A Pardon does not relieve a convicted sex offender of
the requirement to register as such.
A Pardon does not attest to rehabilitation of a
With regard to occupational licensing, where a
statute limits rights based on the underlying conduct and not the
pardoned offense itself, a pardon would not remove or erase the
disability of past conduct. If there is a requirement that the license
applicant has not been convicted of a felony, the pardon would permit
licensing. However, if the licensing standard is good moral character,
the pardon does not erase the moral guilt associated with the commission
of a criminal offense and the fact giving rise to that conviction may be
considered in determining whether that person is of "good moral
A Pardon does not remove any disabilities resulting
from separate convictions that are not specified on the instrument of
Pardon (ie, being pardoned on one offense but not another would not
remove disabilities from the offense not pardoned).
The Nevada Pardons Board does not have the authority
to restore any rights lost as a result of a conviction in a jurisdiction
outside of Nevada.
There are two primary distinctions between the power to pardon under the
United States Constitution and under the Nevada Constitution. First, the United States
Constitution grants the power to pardon to the President, while the Nevada Constitution
grants the power to the Governor, who must act in concert with the justices of the
Nevada Supreme Court and the Nevada Attorney General, pursuant to Article 5,
Section 14 of the Nevada Constitution. Several states, including Nevada, did not want
to confer authority to pardon on the Governor alone. Further, the President may pardon
a person either before or after he is convicted, but the Pardons Board may only pardon
a person after he is convicted. However, both the President and the Pardons Board
may impose such conditions, limitations, and restrictions on pardons as they deem
appropriate. Article 5, section 14 of the Nevada Constitution provides:
The governor, justices of the supreme court, and attorney
general, or a major part of them, of whom the governor shall
be one, may upon such conditions and with such limitations
and restrictions as they may think proper, remit fines and
forfeitures, commute punishments . . . and grant pardons,
after convictions, in all cases, except treason and
impeachments, subject to such regulations as may be
provided by law, relative to the manner of applying for
pardons. [Emphasis added.]
Absent special authorization by the Nevada Constitution, the Legislature may not
change, alter, or modify the constitutional powers of the Pardons Board. King v. The
Board of Regents, 65 Nev. 533, 546, 200 P.2d 221, 227 (1948). As for the President,
“[t]o the executive alone is intrusted the power of pardon; and it is granted without limit.
. . . [A pardon] may be granted on conditions.” United States v. Klein, 80 U.S. 128, 147
The plain purpose of the broad [pardon] power conferred by
§ 2, cl. 1 [U.S. Const. Art. II, § 2, cl. 1], was to allow plenary
authority in the President to “forgive” the convicted person in
part or entirely, to reduce a penalty in terms of a specified
number of years, or to alter it with conditions which are in
themselves constitutionally unobjectionable.
Schick v. Reed, 419 U.S. at 266. That power permits “the attachment of any condition
which does not otherwise offend the Constitution.” Id. “[I]t is clear that the legislature
cannot change the effect of . . . a pardon any more than the executive can change a
law.” United States v. Klein, 80 U.S. at 148.
The different kinds of pardons are general, special or
particular, conditional or absolute, statutory, not necessary in
some cases, and in some grantable of course. An absolute
pardon is a permanent and complete termination of penalty
and remission of guilt.
A pardon is conditional when it is granted upon certain
specified conditions. It may be granted either on a condition
precedent, becoming operative when, and not until, the
grantee has performed the designated act, or on a condition
subsequent, in which case the pardon will take effect, so far
as concerns the person of the grantee, as soon as it is
delivered and accepted, but will become null and void upon
the violation by the grantee of any of the specified terms or
59 AM. JUR. 2D Pardon and Parole § 2 (2003) (footnote omitted).
In 1880 the Nevada Supreme Court noted that the legal authorities
were uniform as to the effect of a full and unconditional pardon, holding that such
pardons remove all disabilities resulting from a criminal conviction. See State of
Nevada v. Foley, 15 Nev. 64, 67 (1880).
[T]he effect of a full pardon “is to make the offender a new
man; to acquit him of all corporal penalties and forfeitures
annexed to the offense for which he obtains his pardon, and
not so much to restore his former, as to give him a new
credit and capacity.”
Assembly Bill 55, Act of June 11, 2003, ch.
447, § 13, 2003 Nev. Stat. 447 (effective July 1, 2003):
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a person
who is granted a pardon for any offense committed:
(a) Is immediately restored to the following civil rights:
(1) The right to vote; and
(2) The right to serve as a juror in a civil action.
(b) Four years after the date that his pardon is granted, is
restored to the right to hold office.
(c) Six years after the date that his pardon is granted, is
restored to the right to serve as a juror in a criminal action.
2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the civil
rights set forth in subsection 1 are not restored to a person
who has been granted a pardon if the person has previously
been convicted in this state:
(a) Of a category A felony.
(b) Of an offense that would constitute a category A felony
if committed as of the date that his pardon is granted.
(c) Of a category B felony involving the use of force or
violence that resulted in substantial bodily harm to the victim.
(d) Of an offense involving the use of force or violence that
resulted in substantial bodily harm to the victim and that
would constitute a category B felony if committed as of the
date that his pardon is granted.
(e) Two or more times of a felony, unless a felony for which
the person has been convicted arose out of the same act,
transaction or occurrence as another felony, in which case
the convictions for those felonies shall be deemed to
constitute a single conviction for the purposes of this
A person described in this subsection may petition the
court in which the person was convicted for an order
granting the restoration of his civil rights as set forth in
3. Except for a person subject to the limitations set forth in
subsection 2, upon receiving a pardon, a person so
pardoned must be given an official document which
(a) That he has been granted a pardon;
(b) That he has been restored to his civil rights to vote and
to serve as a juror in a civil action as of the date that his
pardon is granted;
(c) The date on which his civil right to hold office will be
restored to him pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 1;
(d) The date on which his civil right to serve as a juror in a
criminal action will be restored to him pursuant to paragraph
(c) of subsection 1.
4. Subject to the limitations set forth in subsection 2, a
person who has been granted a pardon in this state or
elsewhere and whose official documentation of his pardon is
lost, damaged or destroyed may file a written request with a
court of competent jurisdiction to restore his civil rights
pursuant to this section. Upon verification that the person
has been granted a pardon and is eligible to be restored to
the civil rights set forth in subsection 1, the court shall issue
an order restoring the person to the civil rights set forth in
subsection 1. A person must not be required to pay a fee to
receive such an order.
5. A person who has been granted a pardon in this state or
elsewhere may present:
(a) Official documentation of his pardon, if it contains the
provisions set forth in subsection 3; or
(b) A court order restoring his civil rights,
as proof that he has been restored to the civil rights set forth
in subsection 1.
provided by the Attorney
General's Office, Nov 18 2003.