50-State Comparison
 Models for Administration of the Pardon Power

A.  Independent Board (6)

Alabama*±
Connecticut 
Georgia± 
Idaho* 
South Carolina*
Utah 

B.  Shared Power (22)
Governor on Board (4)

Florida±
Minnesota±
Nebraska
Nevada± 

Gatekeeper Board (10)

Arizona±
Delaware±
Louisiana
Massachusetts±
New Hampshire
Oklahoma±
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island**
South Dakota***±
Texas  

Mandatory Consultation with Board (8)

Alaska
Arkansas±
California****±
Kansas±
Michigan±
Missouri
Montana±
Ohio± 

C.  Permissive Consultation with Board (19) 

Colorado±
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana±
Iowa±
Kentucky±
Maryland±
Mississippi
New Jersey±
New Mexico
New York±
North Carolina
North Dakota
Tennessee±
Vermont
Virginia±
Washington±
West Virginia±
Wyoming±

D.  No Statutory Advisory Process (5)

District of Columbia
Federal System
Maine
Oregon±
Wisconsin±


* In Alabama and South Carolina, the governor remains responsible for clemency in capital cases, and in Idaho, the governor must approve the board’s decision to pardon certain serious crimes.

**In Rhode Island, the senate must advise and consent to every pardon. 

***In South Dakota, the governor has constitutional authority to pardon without consultation with the board, but sealing is unavailable to a grantee if the statutory procedure requiring board approval is not followed.  The result is that in recent years all pardons have been granted after board approval. 

**** In California, the governor is required to consult with the parole board and seek approval of the state supreme court in recidivist cases only.  

±Governor required to report annually to the legislature, frequently with reasons for each grant