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Campaign for Clemency Project Help: The Clemency Process

History of MA Clemency law

Secondary sources are an excellent way to quickly understand the background of a legal subject area. I have included a few here, but you should check Westlaw for more! The articles included here focus on clemency in Massachusetts.

Pardons and Commutations

Willie Horton's Shadow: Clemency in Massachusetts

Beg Your Pardon: A Call For Renewal of Executive Clemency and Accountability In Massachusetts 

From Here to Clemency: Navigating the Massachusetts Pardon Process

The legislative history of the Massachusetts General Laws of Pardons by the Governor is also worth pursuing. See M.G.L.A. 127 Section 152. Use the compare versions button in Westlaw to see when changes where made to the law.

Relevant Massachusetts statutes and regulations

How to Find Massachusetts case law on clemency

There are only a few cases on clemency in Massachusetts. The easiest way to access caselaw interpreting the Massachusetts constitutional provision on pardons is to look at Massachusetts General Laws Annotated, available through Westlaw Edge.. Article VIII  includes Notes on Decisions that you can look through. I have listed a few of the cases here.

In General

Ladetto v. Commissioner of Correction (1977) 369 N.E.2d 967, 373 Mass. 859

In re Opinion of the Justices (1938) 17 N.E.2d 906, 301 Mass. 615

In re Opinion of the Justices (1912) 98 N.E. 101, 210 Mass. 609

Kennedy's Case (1883) 135 Mass. 48

Initial determination

Juggins v. Executive Council to the Governor (1926) 154 N.E. 72, 257 Mass. 386

Refusal to Pardon

3 Op.Atty.Gen.1906, p. 5.

Information on the Clemency Process

The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library has produced a compilation of resources on sentencing, probation and parole that includes resources on clemency. See Massachusetts law about sentencing, probation and parole. The Massachusetts Parole Board has also produced an excellent article on the executive clemency process in Massachusetts, which goes into detail about the various steps of the process. These two articles provide a good foundation in understanding the clemency process.