Pardon v. Commutation

What is the difference between a pardon and a commutation?

A pardon means that you are fully cleared of any responsibility for the crime for which you had been convicted--the conviction is gone. A commutation means that you still have a record and your conviction stands, but your sentence is changed.

The sentence changes to however the governor or president changes the sentence. The sentence can be a death sentence that is commuted to life, a life sentence that is commuted to a parole eligible sentence, or a jail sentence to a probationary sentence.

Often, a commutation is a very good outcome and much more reasonable request.

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