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What is Clemency?

Not everyone who is put behind bars belongs there, and sometimes they do, but the sentence they are given can be deemed too long or too hard later on. Fortunately, there's a legal way to have a prison term shortened or ended immediately. Clemency is a form of pardoning, shortening, or allowing reprieve of one's prison sentence. This does not mean that the person is not guilty; it simply means they have been forgiven of their crimes. The state's governor or the President of the United States are the only people who can grant clemency.

What Are the Different Types of Clemency?

· Full Pardon - In the state of Florida, this unconditionally releases a person from punishment and forgives guilt for any convictions. It also, allows them all rights citizenship, such as the ability to own, possess, or use firearms.

· Pardon Without Firearm Authority - This pardon releases a person from punishment and forgives guilt. It entitles them to all of the rights of citizenship except the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms.

· Pardon for Misdemeanor - This kind of pardon allows for the release of a person from punishment and forgives guilt.

· Commutation of Sentence - A Commutation of Sentence will adjust the prisoner's penalty to one less severe but will not restore any civil rights, and it does not restore the authority to own, possess, or use firearms.

· Remission of Fines and Forfeitures - A Remission of Fines or Forfeitures suspends, reduces, or removes fines or forfeitures that have been sentenced.

· Specific Authority to Own, Possess, or Use Firearms - The Specific Authority to Own, Possess, or Use Firearms restores the right to own, possess, or use firearms, which were lost as a result of a felony conviction.

· Restoration of Civil Rights in Florida - The Restoration of Civil Rights restores all of the rights of citizenship in the State of Florida enjoyed before the felony conviction, except the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms. Such restoration shall not relieve them from the registration and notification requirements or any other obligations and restrictions imposed by law upon sexual predators or sexual offenders.

Why Would Someone Be Granted Clemency?

In recent Florida news, President Trump granted a woman named Judith Negron, clemency after serving eight years of her 35-year prison term. Negron was convicted in 2011 on 24 courts of health care fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and more. She was part of a trio who committed $205 million dollars in Medicare fraud. They paid bribes and kickbacks and eventually it caught up to them. To date this was the longest prison sentence ever given in a Medicare fraud case, so Negron's family filed for clemency. President Trump granted a full pardon in February 2020, allowing her to returned home to her husband and children. Her sentence was deemed too long and too harsh for her crimes.

If you or someone you know is on trial for a crime they may or may not have committed, having an experienced criminal defense attorney is incredibly important. Russell Spatz has over 40 years of experience with all types of criminal defense law. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to see how he can help you.


Schneider, Mike. "South Florida Woman Convicted of Medicare Fraud Granted Clemency by Trump." WPLG, WPLG Local 10, 19 Feb. 2020,

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Spatz Law Firm, PL
14707 S Dixie Hwy
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Miami, FL 33176

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