What is clemency (or a "pardon")?

Clemency -- formally called “executive clemency” --  is a full and absolute pardon for your crimes by the governor of your state. It is forgiveness by the governor for a crime you committed.This is one option if you don’t qualify to have your record sealed, but it is rare and difficult to get.

Once you’ve been pardoned, you can’t be punished any further for that crime. However, it doesn’t mean you are any more likely to be able to seal your criminal record.

To apply for clemency, the main requirement is that the crime must have happened a long time ago. It also helps if you can prove that you have been rehabilitated, as well as have the support of the community, parole board, and a lawyer. You also have to show that you need the pardon, have made amends, and have turned your life around.

In early 2020, the Ohio governor’s office announced a new “expedited” pardon project. You can learn more about it here: https://www.ohioexpeditedpardon.org/.