A pardon is granted by the Governor. To be eligible for a pardon, an offender must have completed his or her sentence, including any parole or probation, or must have been released from incarceration for at least five (5) years prior to applying. Under Oklahoma law, a pardon by itself will not clear a criminal record. Moreover, it does not prevent a criminal record from being considered when decisions are made concerning employment or other matters. Any person who was under eighteen (18) at the time the crime was committed and who has received a pardon may seek to have his or her criminal record expunged.
Parole is the conditional release of an offender from prison. Under Oklahoma law, an offender is eligible for parole after one-third of the sentence has been served if the crime was non-violent. This does not bar an offender from seeking pre-parole remedies. When an offender is release on parole, he or she serves the remaining portion of the sentence in the community under the supervision of the Department of Corrections. Parole is determined by a hearing before the Parole Board. By law, offenders who have been convicted of a violent crime must have a two-stage hearing. Offenders convicted of non-violent crimes have a single-stage hearing. Board policy determines which offenders have a personal appearance before the Board and which ones have a “jacket review”. A jacket review is a review of the offender’s file without a personal appearance. If an offender is recommended for parole, the Department of Corrections will verify the offender’s proposed living arrangements, and the offender’s file is sent to the Governor