The Law Offices of Jerome P. Mullins: The California Criminal Law Observer: The Pardon Me! Resource Center:

Step 12 - Character References

The pardon application process requires at least three character affidavits of persons who are willing and able to make a statement from personal knowledge and under oath regarding your character.

If you submit more than three, you must designate the three persons whom you consider to be primary references.

Standard affidavit forms are "preferred;" however, letters of recommendation which evidence a knowledge of the offense for which you seek pardon may be substituted.

As you can see, the standard affidavit form can be somewhat confining and intimidating to some people. I recommend letter format if it is used with skill. The person writing the character reference should be given guidance in the writing of it and must be fully informed of the nature of the offense.The writing of a good affidavit is an art, and good intentions are not enough. Some people can write with the best of intentions and still detract from the effort. The law office of Jerome P. Mullins offers guidance in this critical aspect of the pardon process.

Persons submitting references should not be related to you by blood or marriage.

Scope of investigation.

Pardon officials conduct a very thorough review in determining an applicant's worthiness for relief.

Applicants should therefore be prepared for a detailed inquiry into their background and current activities.

Among the factors entering into this determination are the nature, seriousness, and recentness of the offense, petitioner's prior and/or subsequent criminal record, any specific hardship the petitioner may be suffering by reason of the conviction (see paragraph 4 above), and the nature and extent of an applicant's post-conviction involvement in community service, charitable or other meritorious activities.

Regarding the latter, submission of information concerning the applicant's noteworthy community contributions is encouraged.

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