After a conviction, all applications for commutation of sentence or pardon for crimes committed shall be accompanied by a certificate of the respective superintendent of the correctional facility, showing the conduct of an applicant during his or her confinement in the correctional facility, together with such evidences of former good character as the applicant may be able to produce. Before the governor approves such application, it shall be first submitted to the present district attorney of the district in which the applicant was convicted and to the judge who sentenced and the attorney who prosecuted at the trial of the applicant, if available, for such comment as they may deem proper concerning the merits of the application, so as to provide the governor with information upon which to base his or her action. The governor shall make reasonable efforts to locate the judge who sentenced and the attorney who prosecuted at the trial of the applicant and shall afford them a reasonable time, not less than fourteen days, to comment on such applications. The requirements of this section shall be deemed to have been met if the persons to whom the application is submitted for comment do not comment within fourteen days after their receipt of the application or within such other reasonable time in excess of fourteen days as specified by the governor, or if the sentencing judge or prosecuting attorney cannot be located, are incapacitated, or are otherwise unavailable for comment despite the good-faith efforts of the governor to obtain their comments. Good character previous to conviction, good conduct during confinement in the correctional facility, the statements of the sentencing judge and the district attorneys, if any, and any other material concerning the merits of the application shall be given such weight as to the governor may seem just and proper, in view of the circumstances of each particular case, a due regard being had to the reformation of the accused. The governor shall have sole discretion in evaluating said comments and in soliciting other comments he or she deems appropriate.
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