The pardon process in Utah differs significantly from the federal pardon process. In the federal system, a pardon must be granted by the President. Some will mistakenly assume that a pardon in state system must be granted by the Governor.
The pardon process in Utah does not directly involve the governor. Instead petitions for pardon are reviewed and decided by the Board of Pardons and Parole. Members of the Board are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. But once appointed, they serve independently authority established by the Utah State Constitution.
Under Utah law established by the state legislature, a pardon has essentially the same effect as an expungement. Individuals who qualify for an expungement are required to pursue expungement through the court system. But a person who does not qualify for or has been denied an expungement through the courts may petition the Board of Pardons and Parole for a pardon of prior criminal convictions.