|Pardon means that an individual is fully forgiven from all the legal consequences of his or her crime and conviction – direct and collateral – including the punishment, whether imprisonment, fine, or whatever penalty is provided for by law.
After reviewing the pardon application, the Board of Paroles and Pardons shall determine an individual’s eligibility based upon the following criteria:
For probationers. Probationers can be considered any time after discharge from supervision, provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full.
For parolees. Parolees can be considered:
- Any time after successfully completing five years under supervision
- Any time after the discharge date and after successfully completing the maximum parole period, if less than five years
- Provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full
For persons discharged from a sentence. These individuals can be considered any time after the date of discharge, provided all restitution and collection fees have been paid in full.
For inmates. Inmates may be considered any time prior to becoming parole-eligible upon proof of the most extraordinary circumstances. The Board will decide, based upon the application and findings, whether the evidence demonstrates such circumstances. All restitution and collection fees must still be paid in full.
For inmates with terminal illness. These inmates may be considered any time after they are afflicted with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of one year or less. The Board will decide, based upon the applicant and finding, if the evidence demonstrates a condition that meets this criteria. Two separate doctor’s statements documenting life expectancy must be attached to the application. All restitution and collection fees must be paid in full.
In all of the above cases, the Board’s decision shall be the final determination of pardon eligibility.
An Order of Pardon shall be signed by at least two-thirds of the members of the Board. Upon a favorable consideration by the Board, the director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services will issue a Pardon Certificate. A pardon order obtained by fraud is void.
||Civil Rights Restored Upon Pardon
A pardon shall fully restore all civil rights lost as a result of a conviction. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The right to register to vote
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to hold public office, except as provided for in Section 16-13-210 of state law
- The right to testify without having the fact of the conviction introduced for impeachment purposes, except to the extent provided for under rule 609 of the South Carolina Rules of Evidence.
It should be noted that an individual regains the rights to register to vote and to vote when the entire sentence has been satisfied. Also, State Statute 7-5-120 (4) (b) reads: “Persons convicted of a felony or offenses against the election laws are disqualified from being registered or voting unless such disqualifications have been removed by service of the sentence, including probation and parole time unless sooner pardoned.”