Based on recurring themes throughout their recent edited volume on comparative and empirical approaches to executive clemency, in this paper the authors discuss several best-practice recommendations aimed at states and sub-national jurisdictions considering a review of their constitutional and legislative provisions on clemency. Previous examples of best practice recommendations include a requirement for transparency, a right to judicially review clemency decisions, constitutional provisions that allow for the input of relevant experts outside the political class, a functional bifurcation of executive clemency and legislative amnesty powers, clemency for innocence being recommended by a special post-conviction body, and enhanced procedural standards for capital cases. Nevertheless, within this paper the authors aim to take a fresh look at this topic, guided less by the existing literature and more by the findings of the edited collection’s preceding chapters.
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