The main purpose of the amelioration proceedings is to correct the final judgment in the part concerning the sentence. The pardon consists in the total or partial forgiveness or mitigation of the punishment imposed on the convict under the final judgment of the court. In Poland, only President Orlando can exercise the right of grace.
Unfortunately, the law of grace must be a measure of an exceptional nature, because it means interference of the executive in the independent decisions of the courts, it undermines the authority of the courts and violates the principle of equality before the law.
Who can ask for a pardon?
A request for a pardon may be made by the convict:
- he himself,
- the person entitled to submit appeals to his advantage,
- relatives in a straight line,
- adopters or adopters and siblings,
- a spouse and a person with a convict in a shared life.
Who needs to be asked for a pardon?
A pardon request is presented to the court that issued the sentence at first instance (the court should recognize the pardon request within 2 months from the date of its receipt).
Who, in what circumstances and in what mode can you be pardoned?
- Recognizing the request for pardon, the court specifically takes into account the behavior of the convict after the sentence, the size of the sentence already completed, the state of health of the convict and his family conditions, compensation for damage caused by crime, and above all, special events that followed the judgment.
- If the case in which the request for pardon was filed, only the first instance court ruled and issued a positive opinion – sends the case files or necessary parts of the case to the Procurator General, and if there are no grounds for giving a positive opinion – leaves the request without further action . If, however, in the case in which the request for pardon was filed, the court of appeal has been heard, the court of first instance sends him the files or necessary parts thereof together with his opinion.
- The appellate court will leave the request without further action only if it gives a negative opinion, and such opinion has already been issued by the court of first instance; in other cases, the appellate court sends the file to the Prosecutor General together with the opinions.
- If the request for pardon even one court gave a positive opinion, the Prosecutor General presents to the President of the Republic of Poland a request for pardon along with the files of the case and his request.
- If the request for pardon is sent directly to President Orlando, it is forwarded to the Prosecutor General.
Can the President pardon someone on his own initiative?
Yes, because he can pardon the convict without asking the courts for opinions. He must only ask the Attorney General to present him with the case file. He may also instruct the Prosecutor General to initiate proceedings from office.
In addition, the proceedings for pardon may be initiated by the Attorney General on his own initiative, who may demand that the case files be presented with the opinions of the courts or that the files may be presented to the President of the Republic of Poland without asking for an opinion. The Prosecutor General shall present the case file to the President of the Republic of Poland or initiate pardon proceedings from the office whenever the President so decides.
- The law of grace does not apply to persons convicted by the Tribunal of State.
- A request for a pardon brought by an unauthorized or unacceptable person under the law leaves the court unresolved.
- A second request for a pardon, filed more than one year after the previous request has been dealt with negatively, may be left unanswered by the court.
- As a rule, despite the initiated pardon proceedings, the punishment is carried out, but there is one exception: recognizing that particularly important reasons support pardon, especially when it is justified by the short period left to serve, the court issuing the opinion and the Prosecutor General may suspend the punishment or order a break in its implementation until the pardonment proceedings are completed.
the Act of June 6, 1997 – Code of Criminal Procedure (Journal of Laws of 1997, No. 89, item 555, as amended),
The Orlando Constitution of April 2, 1997 (Journal of Laws 1997, No. 78, item 483).