Pardon Hearing ExplanationGlossary of Terms
The South Carolina Paroles and Pardons Board has the authority to grant a pardon to an offender. If an offender applies for a pardon, a hearing will be held. Victims (if we have their current address) will be notified 30 days prior to the hearing date. Victims have the right to attend the hearing and present testimony to the Paroles and Pardons Board. Additionally, victims may choose to attend the hearing by videoconferencing at the Charleston or Spartanburg Remote Videoconferencing Site. If you elect to attend the Charleston or Spartanburg Remote Videoconferencing Sites, you must contact the Office of Victim Services at least two weeks in advance to register. At that time you will be given directions to the site. Victims may also voice their opposition to a pardon by submitting letters or petitions.
Pardon hearings are conducted at the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services located at 2221 Devine Street, Columbia, South Carolina. Victims wait in a separate area from the offenders, and present their testimony to the Board after the offender has left the hearing room. Every effort is made to ensure that there is no contact between the victim and the offender.
Click here for directions to Pardon Hearings.
If you plan to attend a hearing to oppose parole, you should contact Missy Knight, Assistant Director of Victim Services, or Sandra McCray, Victim Services Liaison, at 1-888-551-4418 (toll free) or 803-734-9367 if calling from the Columbia area. On the designated hearing date, you should arrive at the specified time indicated on your letter.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by Victim Services’ staff, who will explain the hearing process to you and answer your questions. The hearings are public hearings by law so please be aware that an audiotape of each hearing is being made.
The Pardon Board will allow up to five victims and witnesses to appear regarding an inmate’s potential parole. Limitations or exceptions to this guideline will be considered on an individual basis.
Once you enter the hearing room, the Pardon Board Chairman will ask you to state your name for the record. It is helpful if you also state your relationship to the victim, or the name of the organization you are representing. After you have informed the Board of your reasons for opposition, you will be escorted back into the waiting area, and a member of the Victim Services’ staff will advise you of the Board’s decision. If the request for a pardon is denied, the offender may reapply after one year.
Click here for more information about when an offender can apply for a pardon, and what rights a pardon will restore.