Maine Pardon and Parole Laws

In Maine, laws relating to pardon and parole can be found in 15 M.R.S. § 2161 through 15 M.R.S. § 2167.

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2161, On all petitions to the Governor for pardon or commutation of sentences, written notice thereof shall be given to the Attorney General and the district attorney for the county where the case was tried at least 4 weeks before the time of the hearing thereon, and 4 weeks’ notice in a newspaper of general circulation in said county. If the crime for which said pardon is asked or for which commutation of sentence is sought is punishable by imprisonment in the State Prison, the Attorney General or the district attorney for the county where the case was tried shall, upon the request of the Governor, attend the meeting of the Governor or the Parole Board at which the petition is to be heard and the Governor shall allow said district attorney his necessary expenses for such attendance and a reasonable compensation for said district attorney’s services to be paid from the State Treasury out of the appropriation for costs in criminal prosecutions. The Governor may require the judge and prosecuting officer who tried the case to furnish him or the Parole Board a concise statement thereof as proved at the trial and any other facts bearing on the propriety of granting pardon or commutation[i].

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2162, when a person is sentenced and committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections, the Governor may, if the Governor considers it consistent with the public interest and the welfare of the prisoner, commute that prisoner’s sentence to imprisonment in any county jail, there to be supported at the charge of the State at an expense not exceeding the price paid for the support of other prisoners in that county jail.

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2163, the governor may, upon petition of the person convicted, grant pardon upon such conditions and with such restrictions and under such limitations as s/he deems proper, and s/he may issue his or her warrant to all proper officers to carry such pardon into effect.  The warrant must be obeyed and executed instead of the sentence originally awarded.

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2164, when a convict has been pardoned on conditions to be observed and performed by him, and the Warden of the State Prison or keeper of the jail where the convict was confined has reason to believe that he has violated the same, such officer shall forthwith cause him to be arrested and detained until the case can be examined by the Governor, and the officer making the arrest shall forthwith give them notice thereof, in writing.

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2165, the Governor must, upon receiving notice, examine the case of such convict, and if it appears by his own admission or by evidence that he has violated the conditions of his pardon, the Governor shall order him to be remanded and confined for the unexpired term of the sentence. In computing the period of his confinement, the time between the pardon and the subsequent arrest shall not be reckoned as part of the term of his sentence. If it appears to the Governor that he has not broken the conditions of his pardon, he shall be discharged.[ii].

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2166, when a convict is pardoned or his punishment is commuted, the officer to whom the warrant for that purpose is issued shall, as soon as may be after executing the same, make return thereof, under his hand, with his doings thereon, to the office of the Secretary of State. He shall file in the clerk’s office of the court in which the offender was convicted an attested copy of the warrant and return, a brief abstract whereof the clerk shall subjoin to the record of the conviction and sentence.

Pursuant to 15 M.R.S. § 2167, in any criminal case in which the Governor grants a convicted person a full and free pardon, that person, after the expiration of 10 years from the date the person is finally discharged from any sentence imposed as a result of the conviction, may make written application to the State Bureau of Identification to have all references to the pardoned crime deleted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s identification record. Following receipt of an application, the State Bureau of Investigation shall make the necessary arrangements with the identification division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to have all references to the pardoned crime deleted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s identification record and any state materials returned to the contributing agency if the application is timely and the person has not been convicted of a crime in this State or any other jurisdiction since the full and free pardon was granted and has no formal charging instrument for a crime pending in this State or any other jurisdiction [iii].

Maine Pardon and Parole Laws

[i] 15 M.R.S. § 2161.

[ii] 15 M.R.S. § 2165.

[iii] 15 M.R.S. § 2167.


Inside Maine Pardon and Parole Laws