This Note examines California’s stagnant capital clemency system and its ability to properly function as a fail safe against miscarriages of justice. Finding that the state’s clemency system lacks transparency, appears arbitrary, and is strained by political pressure, this Note argues that California’s system of wide discretion fails to provide a meaningful review of clemency petitions. To restore clemency’s failsafe function, this Note urges California to create a clemency board and provide procedural guidelines for the board to follow when addressing petitions. This Note asserts that by enacting these reforms, California will invigorate its stagnant clemency system and ensure that clemency petitions are meaningfully reviewed.

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