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BOARD OF PARDONS

Article VII of the 1897 constitution of Delaware provides for a Board of Pardons to consist of the Chancellor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Auditor of Accounts. The Governor alone has the power to remit fines and forfeitures and to grant reprieves, commutations of sentence and pardons for sentences up to six months. For any sentence over six months away the Governor has to first receive written approval from a majority of the Board of Pardons after they hear the case before he can grant a reprieve, commutation, or pardon. These approvals or recommendations of action from the Board of Pardons to the Governor are recorded and filed in the Secretary of State’s office. The Board is authorized to request information from the Attorney General regarding any subject concerning their duties.1 Prior to 1901 the Court of General Sessions summoned, subpoenaed and compelled the attendance of witnesses to the Board of Pardon’s hearings. In 1901 the Board was empowered to do this on their own.2 From its institution in 1897 to the present, no significant changes have been made regarding the Board’s responsibilities.

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BOARD OF PARDONS

1 1897 Del. Constitution, Article VII, Section 1.

2 22 DL, ch. 110. 30 DL, ch. 49.

mm; September 13, 1988