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Record Group Number: 000200
Series/Collection Number: .S 1819
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Title, Dates: Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner's Executive Clemency Board records, 1964-1982.
Amount: 8.25 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by record type; hearing files are in chronological or reverse chronological order; then convict files are alphabetical by last name of prisoner.
Restrictions: ***RESTRICTED***Per s. 14.28, F.S. :"All records developed or received by any state entity pursuant to a Board of Executive Clemency investigation shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, such records may be released upon the approval of the Governor."
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The Executive Clemency Board (formerly known as the Board of Pardons) was established under Florida's Constitution of 1868.  Its members were comprised of the Governor, justices of the State Supreme Court, and the Attorney General. The constitution empowered the Board with the authority to remit fines and forfeitures, commute punishment and grant pardons after conviction, in all cases, except treason and impeachment.

    "The constitution of 1885 re-organized the Board of Pardons, to consist of the Governor and Cabinet Members also known as the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions. The Cabinet constituted the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Agriculture, and the Comptroller." Later on, the Treasurer and Commissioner of Education would be included as members of the Board. In 1889, the constitution was amended to remove the management of the state prison from the Adjutant General, "transferring the prison system to the Commissioner of Agriculture."

    To assure that the convicts would adhere to the "conditional pardon" which required them to "maintain good behavior," in 1895 the Florida Legislature "authorized the appointment of a State Convict Inspector" to assist the Pardon Board with the ongoing investigation of the convicts' behavior before and after their pardon. However throughout the years, despite their efforts to manage the pardon and parole system, "the Pardon Board was increasingly criticized for the shortcomings and inadequacies that developed."

    In 1941, a Parole Commission was created to "determine who should be eligible for parole; setting the terms and conditions of parole; supervising parolees; investigating violations of parole; and providing the Board of Pardons with background information on persons applying for pardon, commutation, or remission of fine." Although the pardon/parole/probation system was now under one agency, the Parole Commission, the prison institutions were still under the authority and responsibility of the Commissioner of Agriculture. Years later, the Legislature removed the prison system from the Department of Agriculture and placed it under a more closely related state agency and then finally its own agency, the Department of Corrections.

(Quoted from: Senate Committee on Criminal Justice Staff Report on Corrections, Parole and Probation.  Tallahassee : Florida (1974))

Summary:     These records document the Commissioner of Agriculture's involvement as a Cabinet Member on the Executive Clemency Board. The records consist of general correspondence from the Commissioner of Agriculture along with the Parole Commission's investigations and recommendations to the Clemency Board.  Included are agendas documenting what cases will be heard before the Board during the months the Clemency Board meets; and hearing files containing the confidential analysis of convicts from the Parole and Probation Commission and subsequent recommendations to pardon felony crimes and to restore and/or deny the right to own, possess or use firearms.  In addition, researchers will find of interest hearing files containing individual convicts' statements before the Commission, biographical information prepared by their defense counsel, letters, and with case histories and trial and post-trial documents with regard to the request for commutation of their death sentences.
Finding Aids:
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials: Series 1827 contains general correspondence that was received and sent by Agriculture Commissioner Doyle Conner, in his capacity as Executive Clemency board member, regarding the use of capital punishment in Florida.
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Florida Parole and Probation Commission.
Florida Parole Commission.
Florida. Board of Commissioners of State Institutions.
Criminal justice, Administration of History Florida
Criminals Florida
Capital punishment History Florida
Post-conviction remedies Florida
Pardon Florida
Parole Florida
Added Entries Conner, Doyle, 1928-
Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.