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-Manpower & Reserve Affairs (M&RA) > Council of Review Boards (CORB) > About the Naval Clemencyand Parole Board (NC&PB)
About the Naval Clemencyand Parole Board (NC&PB)

‚ÄčThe Naval Clemency and Parole Board (NC&PB) assists the SECNAV in the exercise of their discretionary and extralegal authority to reduce sentences awarded to members of the Naval Service as a result of a court-martial. This authority comes from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Public Law, and military directives. By virtue of this authority, the Secretary, as deemed appropriate, is empowered, with respect to members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, to make clemency and supervisions determinations as appropriate.

The NC&PB is at the administrative apex of the clemency and parole system within the Department of the Navy. The mission of
this departmental clemency and parole system is to provide a vehicle for the orderly review of court-martial sentences. Embracing
numerous confinement facilities in the continental United States and overseas, the Department of the Navy clemency and parole system is
independent of the appellate review process set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. With certain exceptions, the Secretary of the
Navy has delegated to the NC&PB the authority to take those actions in clemency and parole matters authorized by law or regulation.
In the matter of innocence or guilt with respect to offenses involved in a court-martial, the Secretary of the Navy requires the NC&PB to
accept as final court-martial findings of guilty or not guilty, this is in addition to any related decisions of the Navy-Marine Corps Court of
Criminal Appeal (NMCCA) and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF).

The Secretary of the Navy has defined the objectives of review for clemency and parole. These objectives are the preservation of order and
discipline, equality in the administration of justice, and the protection of the interest of the US Naval Service, the individual, and
society.

The NC&PB bases its decisions, on the nature and circumstances of the offenses, military and civilian background of the individual,
comments and recommendations of the principal officials responsible for the court-martial proceedings involved, psychiatric evaluations,
and various post-trial considerations such as attitude, conduct and performance, adjustment to confinement, social factors, and the
participation and completion of required offense related treatment.

Members avoid all conflicts of interest by recusing themselves from pending clemency and parole matters in which they were either
indirectly or directly involved in a personal or professional capacity. If in doubt as to whether the appearance or reality of an ethical conflict of
interest exists in a specific case, the member must seek an advisory opinion from Director, Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards, and
Legal Counsel.

The Secretary of the Navy directed the NC&PB to exercise its best judgment and discretion to apply and relate the Parole Commission's
guidelines for parole decisions which will preserve the unique needs of the Naval Service for good order and discipline and, at the same time, help to ensure those Naval prisoners released on parole will become neither a threat nor a burden to the civilian community into which they are released. The objective of the SECNAV's policy is to promote greater uniformity and equality in parole determinations, determinations which will neither depreciate the seriousness of the offenses committed nor promote disrespect for the law.

The NC&PB is composed of five members, four career military officers and one civilian, who is the appointed President of the Board. All are
selected on the basis of wide military experience, proven performance, and education. Military membership includes two line officers, a
psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, and a military lawyer.

Actively sought for membership on the NC&PB are seasoned officers whose personal and professional qualifications and background make
them capable of mature and independent judgment first on the adverse impact military and criminal misconduct has on the maintenance of
good order and discipline, and second as to where the best interest of the Naval Service, society, and the individual lie when the Board is faced
with a decision whether or not to release a Naval offender into the civilian community on parole prior to the completion of his sentence to
confinement.

With a view towards ensuring that Naval prisoners are afforded equal opportunities for clemency and parole, conscious efforts are made to
appoint members who are available to meet one day every month over the full periods of their assignment to military duty in the Washington,
DC area. Given this and specific policy guidance from the Secretary of the Navy, the Board analyzes each case based on its perception of the
practical effect particular offenses have had on the maintenance of good order and discipline in the highly dangerous environment within which
the operational forces of the Naval Service often must function.

Proceeding on the basis that each member of the Naval Service is accountable for his conduct, each case is examined to determine if the
punishment awarded and individual in his court-martial sentence is appropriate for his offenses, this in light of the number of cases the NC&PB
reviews each year.

Also considered is whether or not the punishment awarded is consistent with punishment awarded to other members of the Naval Service
similarly situated for offenses committed under substantially similar circumstances.

Having reviewed each case along these guidelines, the Board then determines whether or not there are any compelling reasons to reduce the
punishment awarded in a given sentences and to grant or not to grant some form of clemency.

The NC&PB projects the positive message the Secretary of the Navy wants the Board to send to all members of the Navy and Marine Corps, i.e.,
that the maintenance of good order and discipline is central to the successful accomplishment of the critical defense missions assigned to the
Navy and Marine Corps in the protection of the United States and the citizens who make up its society.

 

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