The right to request a pardon is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Criminal Code and the Criminal Law Executive Code, which governs prisons and other punishment for criminal offenses. Article 50.3 of the Constitution states: ”Anyone convicted of a crime shall have the right … to request a pardon or the commuting of a sentence.“ Article 71 of the Constitution states that pardons fall under federal jurisdiction. In other words, issues of pardons can be resolved only at the highest level of federal authority — specifically, by the President.
Under the Constitution, the President holds the exclusive right to grant a pardon. In accordance with Presidential Decree No. 1500, issued December 28, 2001, on setting up pardons commissions in the constituent territories of the Russian Federation, a pardon may be granted to: individuals who have been convicted by Russian courts for criminal offenses and are serving their sentences on Russian territory; individuals who have been convicted by foreign courts and are serving their sentences in Russia in accordance with international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a signatory; and individuals who have served a sentence but whose conviction remains on record.
As a rule, pardons are not granted to: convicts who have knowingly commited a crime while on parole; convicts who repeatedly violate prison rules or other regulations while serving their sentences; convicts who have previously gotten an early release from prison (or waiver of other court-imposed punishment); convicts previously released through amnesty; convicts who have previously.