Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Criminal Procedure Generally


Subchapter VI. Clemency

(a) The Board of Pardons as constituted by article VII of the Constitution of this State shall have power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such records, books, papers and documents necessary for investigation of the case of any person before it. Subpoenas may be signed and oaths administered by any member of the Board. Subpoenas so issued may be served by Department employees or by any person authorized to serve subpoenas by the Rules of Civil Procedure of the Superior Court and shall be served and returned as provided by said Rules.

(b) The fees of witnesses shall be the same as allowed in the Superior Court and shall be paid by the State Treasurer from any moneys in the Treasury of the State not otherwise appropriated, upon a warrant signed by a member of the Board and its secretary.

(c) Any person who testifies falsely or fails to appear when subpoenaed, or refuses to produce such material pursuant to the subpoena, shall be subject to the same orders and penalties to which a person before the Superior Court is subject.

(d) Upon the application of any convicted felon for a pardon, the Board shall notify the Superior Court and the Attorney General of such application. The Attorney General in cooperation with the Superior Court shall send notice of such application to each person who was a victim or witness of the offense for which the felon was convicted, that the felon has applied for a pardon. Such notice shall contain the time, date and place where the matter shall be heard by the Board. Where a victim or witness is known to be deceased, a good faith effort shall be made to send notice to a member of the immediate family of such person. Where the victim or witness is known to be under 18 years of age or is incompetent, a good faith effort shall be made to send the notice to the parent, guardian or custodian of such person. Notification for the purpose of this section shall be by certified mail (return receipt requested) to the last known address of such victim or witness. Each such victim or witness shall be permitted to testify at the pardons hearing. A victim or witness may, in lieu of appearing before the Board, submit a written statement to the Board at any time prior to the hearing. For purposes of this subsection, the word "witness'' shall mean a person who testified for the prosecution at the trial in which the felon was convicted of the crime from which the felon seeks to be pardoned; provided, however, that the word "witness'' shall not include any law enforcement officer, any person who testified merely as an expert witness, nor any person who was merely a custodian of the evidence, with no knowledge of the circumstances of the offense.

(e) The Superior Court, upon application of the Board, may in its discretion compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of such material and the giving of testimony before the Board, by an attachment for contempt or otherwise in the same manner as production of evidence may be compelled before the Superior Court.

(f) Upon the request of the Board of Pardons, the Department, to the extent authorized by the Commissioner, shall make investigations and recommendations and report thereon with respect to any application before the Board of Pardons.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 4361; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 7; 67 Del. Laws, c. 242, §§ 1-3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) When the Board of Pardons considers for recommendation to the Governor, for pardon or commutation of sentence, any person who has been convicted of an act causing death (subpart B of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of this title); sexual offenses (subpart D of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of this title); kidnapping and related offenses (subpart E of subchapter II of Chapter 5 of this title); arson and related offenses (subpart A of subchapter III of Chapter 5 of this title); home invasion; burglary in the first degree; burglary in the second degree; robbery (subpart C of subchapter III of Chapter 5 of this title); offenses relating to children and vulnerable adults (subchapter V of Chapter 5 of this title); cruelty to animals; abusing a corpse; unlawful use of an incendiary device, bomb or other explosive device; abuse of children (Chapter 9 of Title 16); and distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age 18 (former § 4761 of Title 16 (repealed)); or for an attempt as provided by statute to commit any of these crimes, there shall be furnished to each member of the Board of Pardons and to the Governor, in case recommendation for a pardon or commutation of sentence be made, a copy of the report of the psychiatrist and/or psychologist who have examined such person, as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Prior to consideration by the Board of Pardons of any application for a pardon or a commutation of sentence made by any person who has been incarcerated for any of the crimes stated in subsection (a) of this section, such person shall be examined by a psychiatrist or by a psychologist within a 12-month period immediately preceding consideration of such person's case by the Board of Pardons. The Commissioner of the Department of Correction or the Commissioner's designee may request the Director of the Delaware Psychiatric Center to cause examination and studies to be made.

(c) Any psychiatrist or psychologist who, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, examines any applicant for a pardon or a commutation of sentence shall furnish to each member of the Board of Pardons a report containing their respective findings, opinions as to the mental and emotional health of the applicant, and opinions as to the probability of the applicant again committing any crime if released. If the Board of Pardons recommends a pardon or a commutation of sentence, a copy of any report submitted to the Board by any psychiatrist or psychologist shall be provided to the Governor.

(d) If examination and clinical studies as provided in this section cannot be made at the correctional institution, the prisoner may be transferred, under adequate security safeguards, to the Delaware Psychiatric Center for such examination and studies.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 4362; 57 Del. Laws, c. 594, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 528, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 550, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 429, §§ 1-3; 76 Del. Laws, c. 344, §§ 1, 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 14; 78 Del. Laws, c. 252, § 12.;

Whenever the Board of Pardons receives an application for recommendation of pardon or commutation of sentence from a person who is in legal custody of the Department of Correction, the Board shall request from the Board of Parole a report summarizing the complete record of such person, which shall include an opinion as to the state of rehabilitation of such person. The report shall be furnished by the Parole Board as provided in § 4343(8) of this title.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 4363; 57 Del. Laws, c. 595, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 51, § 2.;

Except as otherwise provided by the Delaware Constitution, or expressly by any provision of the Delaware Code or any court rule, the granting of an unconditional pardon by the Governor shall have the effect of fully restoring all civil rights to the person pardoned. Such civil rights include, but are not limited to, the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury if selected, the right to purchase or possess deadly weapons and the right to seek and hold public office provided however, that this section shall not limit or affect the Governor's authority to place lawful conditions upon the granting of a pardon. Notwithstanding the granting of a pardon or any provision of this section, no person who shall be convicted of embezzlement of the public money, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the General Assembly, or capable of holding any office of trust, honor or profit under this State.

74 Del. Laws, c. 156, § 1.;