CHAPTER 5. REPRIEVE, PARDON, AND PAROLE
PART I. REPRIEVE AND PARDON
§572. Powers of governor to grant reprieves and pardons; automatic pardon for first offender; payment of court costs required
A. The governor may grant reprieves to persons convicted of offenses against the state and, upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons as hereinafter provided for by this Part, may commute sentences, pardon those convicted of offenses against the state, and remit fines and forfeitures imposed for such offenses. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the governor shall not grant any pardon to any person unless that person has paid all of the court costs which were imposed in connection with the conviction of the crime for which the pardon is to be issued.
B.(1) A first offender never previously convicted of a felony shall be pardoned automatically upon completion of his sentence without a recommendation of the Board of Pardons and without action by the governor.
(2) No person convicted of a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541 or determined to be a sexually violent predator or a child predator under the provisions of R.S. 15:542.1 et seq. shall be exempt from the registration requirements of R.S. 15:542.1 et seq., as a result of a pardon under the provisions of this Subsection.
(3) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no pardon shall be issued to a first offender unless that person has paid all of the court costs which were imposed in connection with the conviction of the crime for which the pardon is to be issued.
C. For the purposes of this Section, "first offender" means a person convicted within this state of a felony but never previously convicted of a felony within this state or convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States or of any foreign government or country of a crime which, if committed in this state, would have been a felony, regardless of any previous convictions for any misdemeanors. Convictions in other jurisdictions which do not have counterparts in this state will be classified according to the laws of the jurisdiction of conviction.
D. On the day that an individual completes his sentence the Division of Probation and Parole of the Department of Corrections, after satisfying itself that (1) the individual is a first offender as defined herein and (2) the individual has completed his sentence shall issue a certificate recognizing and proclaiming that the petitioner is fully pardoned for the offense, and that he has all rights of citizenship and franchise, and shall transmit a copy of the certificate to the individual and to the clerk of court in and for the parish where the conviction occurred. This copy shall be filed in the record of the proceedings in which the conviction was obtained. However, once an automatic pardon is granted under the provisions of this Section, the individual who received such pardon shall not be entitled to receive another automatic pardon.
E. Notwithstanding any provision herein contained to the contrary, any person receiving a pardon under the provisions of Subparagraph (1) of Paragraph (E) of Section 5 of Article IV of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 and this Section may be charged and punished as a second or multiple offender as provided in R.S. 15:529.1.
Amended by Acts 1968, No. 186, §1; Acts 1975, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 17, §1, eff. Jan. 28, 1975; Acts 1975, No. 593, §1, eff. July 1, 1975; Acts 2003, No. 821, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1145, §1.