Pardons in the state of West Virginia are granted by executive clemency. Executive clemency, however, does not expunge the record of the person who has been pardoned. In order to expunge his or her record, he or she must petition the county circuit court in which the conviction was acquired. In order to apply for an expungement, however, the person must have a full and unconditional pardon, as well as having waited for one (1) year from the pardon being granted by the governor, and five (5) years from the discharge of the sentence.
The application for executive clemency can be obtained by requesting the governor’s office. After the application is completed, the application is to be returned to the office of the governor by mail. Once it is received back at the office of the governor, the application will be given to the board of parole that will right a report and review the application, as well as makes a recommendation to the governor on whether the pardon should be granted or denied. All of the information and the application will then be sent back to the office of the governor who will then make a final decision. The governor does not necessarily have to abide by the recommendation of the parole board. The governor’s decision is final.