The Differences Between Parole and Clemency

Image of man signing documents for Parole and Clemency

At the Cox Law Firm, we understand that your primary goal is to get your loved one out of TDCJ as quickly as possible. For offenders seeking release, there are really only two options, parole and clemency. In this article, we will breakdown the differences between these two options, as well as the probability of obtaining each one.

What is Parole?

Parole is the discretionary release from TDCJ prior to serving the full term of your sentence. This involves supervision, reporting, restrictions, and possibly successful course completion inside TDCJ before release. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles makes the decision to grant or deny parole, which is a privilege. The board typically votes in three-person panels. The experienced parole lawyers at Cox Law know the static and dynamic factors considered by the parole board and other factors that make for a successful parole hearing. See our Board Considerations During a Parole Hearing Blog Post for details.

If the Board grants parole, the person receiving that privilege has reporting requirements, and other potential restrictions such as travel, residency, and other matters.

What is Clemency?

Clemency is the formal pardoning of an offender by the Governor of Texas. While there are many varieties, the most common are full and conditional pardons. A full pardon releases an offender from their sentence entirely, whether they are serving their sentence in TDCJ or out on parole. On the other hand, a conditional pardon gives an individual certain tasks that they must complete prior to their release. This may include the completion of a class, or remaining on parole for a period of time.

In the state of Texas, clemency is rarely granted. Governor Greg Abbott pardoned 7 people in 2020, which is the most he has ever pardoned in a single year. While the likelihood of clemency is rare, the application is always available here on the Board’s website.

How We Can Help

At the Cox Law Firm, we specialize in assisting with the parole process. While both parole and clemency are viable options for release, our attorneys have significant experience and expertise with parole representation before the parole board. We work with you to develop a strong, persuasive plan of parole designed to earn your loved on the privilege of parole. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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