The governor's power to grant reprieves, commutations or pardons is unrestricted by any board of pardons, but he is required to report to the legislature each case in which he exercises such power.
He grants pardons and reprieves on the recommendation of the state board of pardons.
The governor is a member of the Board of Pardons, the other members being the attorney-general, the secretary of state, the comptroller and the commissioner of agriculture; he and the secretary of state, attorney-general, comptroller, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, and commissioner of agriculture comprise a Board of Commissioners of State Institutions; he is also a member of the Board of Education.
It was thought that martyrdom would atone for sin, and imprisoned confessors not only issued to the Churches commands which were regarded almost as inspired utterances, but granted pardons in rash profusion to those who had been excommunicated by the regular clergy, a practice which caused Cyprian and his fellow bishops much difficulty.
Thus by the New York Code of Criminal Procedure the governor of the state of New York has power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, except in the case of treason, where he can only suspend the execution of the sentence until the case can be reported to the legislature, with whom the power of pardon in this case rests.