Sample Clemency Appeal Letter

April 21, 2016

State Board of Pardons and Paroles or Governor’s Office

Address Line One

Address Line Two

Address Line Three



Dear [Name of Governor] or [State Board of Pardon and Paroles],

I am writing to you to express my concern over the execution of [defendant’s name] scheduled for [execution date]. I think justice in the case of [defendant’s name] would best be served with a life-sentence without the possibility of parole. As the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, you have the power of mercy and grace to grant clemency for this man/woman.

At the center of my Catholic faith is the belief in sanctity of life and the inherent dignity of the human person. This respect for life is upheld for all and is never lost from one’s actions. As Pope John Paul II said, “the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil.” This means we recognize the dignity of [client’s name] despite [his/her] crime[s]. The gift of life is from God alone; we do not have the power to create or destroy it.

I do not forget the undeniable grief and tremendous pain of the victim[s] and their family[ies]. As a Church, we pray for the healing and peace of all victims of violent crime. We do not, however, condone the state’s planned execution as a form of justice. I ask that you grant clemency for [client’s name].