Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

Applying for and receiving clemency after a court-martial conviction


The imposing commander, a successor in command, or the next superior authority may grant clemency. AR 27-10, para. 3-23.

Suspension. AR 27-10, para. 3-24.

    1. The execution of a punishment of reduction or forfeiture may be suspended for no more than four months. Other punishments may be suspended for no more than six months. For summary Art. 15s, suspensions are for no more than three months.
    2. Automatically remitted if no misconduct during the suspension period.
    3. Vacation.
      1. If the Solder violates a punitive article of the UCMJ (or other stated condition) during the suspension period, the commander may vacate the suspension.
      2. If the vacation involves a condition on liberty, reduction in rank, or forfeiture of pay, the commander should hold a hearing as outlined in AR 27-10, para. 3-25. For the vacation of other punishments, the Soldier should be given notice and an opportunity to respond. If the Soldier is absent without leave when the commander proposes vacation, special rules apply.
      3. The conduct that led to the vacation can serve as a separate basis for a new NJP action.
      4. No appeal is authorized from the vacation of a suspended sentence. AR 27-10, para. 3-29b.

Mitigation. The commander can reduce the quantity or quality of the punishment. AR 27-10, para. 3-26.

Remission. The commander can cancel any portion of the unexecuted punishment. AR 27-10, para. 3-27.

Setting aside and restoration. AR 27-10, para. 3-28

    1. Commanders can set aside any part or amount of a punishment, whether executed or unexecuted, and restore whatever rights, privileges or property that was affected are restored.
    2. Should only be done when there was “clear injustice,” or an unwaived legal or factual error that clearly and affirmatively injured the substantial rights of the Soldier. Nonjudicial Punishment (NJP)
    3. Should generally occur within four months from the date that punishment was imposed.

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