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Application for Commutation

When all else fails, a convicted defendant can seek to have his sentence commuted before the Nevada Pardons Board. The Board consists of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the seven Supreme Court Justices. The Board meets once or twice a year and, currently, puts only nine cases on the Agenda (out of a huge number of applications). To obtain a commutation (i.e., reduction in sentence) or a pardon, the Governor and at least four (4) other members must approve it. The Board cannot commute a death sentence or life without parole sentence, unless that sentence was imposed prior to July 1, 1995. In these cases, the facts of the case, the applicant?s prior criminal history, and his/her record in prison or on parole are paramount. In cases of lengthy and successful paroles, however, in lieu of a Pardons Board commutation, a proceeding by the Parole Board under NRS 176.033(2) to terminate the parole by reducing the sentence is an option. These are proceedings brought by the state board of parole commissioners, so private attorneys generally are not involved. 

See: Aguiar v. State, (8th Judicial District, Nevada Supreme Court, Nevada Pardons Board) (1998-2001).