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Board of Pardons

Minnesota offers people who have been convicted of a crime under state law the opportunity to receive a pardon of their conviction or a commutation of their sentence. The Minnesota Board of Pardons, which consists of the Governor, the Minnesota Attorney General, and the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, may grant a pardon or a commutation to a person who is still serving a sentence for a crime committed in the state. The Board may also grant a pardon extraordinary to a person who has completed their criminal sentence and satisfied a required waiting period, if they can demonstrate that they have reformed and are living as law-abiding citizens. The Board holds two public meetings per year, typically in the fall and spring, to consider applications for pardons, pardons extraordinary, and commutations. 

A pardon is an act of forgiveness that has the effect of setting aside a conviction and lifting many of its lingering consequences. The individual is no longer required to report or disclose the conviction except in limited circumstances. However, it is important to note that the conviction will remain a matter of public record, but the fact of a pardon will be placed in the record as well. A commutation is the substitution of a lesser punishment for that imposed by law, such as a reduced sentence. Unlike a pardon, a commutation does not set aside a criminal conviction, but simply lessens or modifies the sentence for that conviction. 

Effective May 19, 2023, the voting requirement for obtaining a pardon, pardon extraordinary, or commutation has changed. Such relief no longer requires unanimous support from all three Board members; instead, clemency will be granted if the Governor and at least one other Board member supports the requested relief. 

Law enforcement agencies inquiries maybe submitted to:

Contact Information: 651-361-7171 or

Annual Reports
Application Forms
Application Process
Board Meetings
Next Meeting
Eligibility Requirements
Statutes and Rules
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