b. Suspension. Commanders, as designated by the Secretary of the Army, are empowered to suspend any
part or amount of the unexecuted portion of any sentence. Usually, the officer who has the immediate authority
to convene a court of the kind that adjudged the sentence in question is also empowered to suspend the
unexecuted portion of a sentence.
Any portion of a sentence may be suspended. Suspension of a sentence to confinement, in effect, frees
the individual on probation. Suspension of a sentence may be for any period of time beyond the term of
confinement. While in the probation-like status, the individual is returned to duty. Unlike other Soldiers,
however, he has the suspension action hanging over his head; for the continuation of the suspension is
conditioned upon the individual's good behavior. The suspended sentence may be vacated for justifiable
reasons and the individual returned to confinement to serve the unexecuted portion of his sentence.
c. Remission. The remission of an offense is the setting aside of the charges or the sentence against an
accused. Remission differs from suspension in that once a sentence is remitted, the action is final and cannot be
vacated at a later date. Remission quite literally wipes the slate clean and no further punishment for the offense
in question can be imposed.
to further distinguish mitigation,
suspension, and remission. Mitigation
roughly the equivalent of an accused begging the mercy of the court after the case against him has
been proved. Usually, through counsel, the accused attempts to show that his character prior to the
offense was exemplary or that there were certain extenuating circumstances that the court should take
into consideration prior to pronouncing a sentence. A suspension is roughly the equivalent of
probation while remission functions much like a pardon.
d. Clemency. Clemency is the early release of a prisoner from confinement through mitigation, remission,
reduction, or suspension of the unexecuted portion of a court-martial sentence. Commanders are encouraged to
exercise their powers of clemency, consistent with the maintenance of discipline and the preservation of good
order, as one of the means to rehabilitate a prisoner for military duty or return to civilian life. In determining
when a prisoner is ready for clemency, consideration should be given to his conduct (behavior) while in
confinement, his attitude and adjustment, his willingness to participate in the training and employment
programs, and his military and civilian confinement records.
(1) The commander's use of his clemency authority is of considerable value in the correctional
treatment of prisoners. Through judicious use of clemency, he establishes an attainable goal for those prisoners
who desire honorable service. Thus, it functions much like a reward for deserving prisoners. If applied
otherwise, clemency soon loses its effectiveness and becomes merely another means of getting a prisoner out of
confinement as soon as possible. The latter course destroys the meaning and eliminates the need or desire of the
prisoner to take stock of himself, thus taking from the prisoner his desire to excel. If clemency is given without
selectivity, it will have little or no long lasting effect on the prisoner and "the world owes me a living" type of
attitude, which may have put the prisoner in confinement in the first place.
(2) The correctional staff should reserve recommendations for clemency for those individuals who have
responded in an acceptable manner to the various programs of the facility. These recommendations are
submitted to the confinement or correctional officer who will use all available information to obtain an accurate
analysis of each prisoner's progress toward rehabilitation. The length of time the prisoner has been in
confinement should never be used as the sole criterion in determining clemency. If the analysis indicates that
the prisoner is deserving of clemency, then a recommendation for clemency should be forwarded. If analysis
fails to indicate conclusively that a prisoner deserves clemency, a recommendation of denial should be
forwarded. Your recommendations, and those of the enlisted people you supervise, play a very vital role in the