You do not have to wait any amount of time to file for executive clemency. However, because historically most of the pardons that have been granted were for convictions that were more than 10 years old, it is suggested that you wait until at least 5 years have passed after you completed your last sentence with no criminal history before you file a petition for executive clemency. The more time that has passed since your last encounter with law enforcement, the better your chances of getting an executive clemency.
If you file a petition for executive clemency and it is denied, you must wait at least one year after the denial to file a second petition. The Chairman of the Prisoner Review Board might permit an exception to the time limit if you have a good reason.
Note: The information above only applies to clemency for state crimes in Illinois. For information on clemency for federal crimes, visit the US Pardon Attorney's website. For information on other states' crimes, visit your state government's website.
Updated: June 2017