What Should Be Included in a Letter to a Judge Requesting Leniency?

In a leniency letter to a judge, the writer should include the positive aspects of the convicted person's character and a passage asserting that the convicted has taken responsibility for the crime and how it has affected him, states The Law Dictionary. The letter is written in business format and formal prose.

The letter should begin by clearly stating its purpose and the name of the person on whose behalf it is written, according to The Law Dictionary. Along with the strengths of the convicted person's character, the writer should attest to how he believes the sentence is going to affect the convicted and his family. The writer should briefly define his relationship to the convicted, and describe how the convicted has not only repented for his crime but taken steps to amend his life. If the writer is a close friend or family, more personal anecdotes can be relayed.

In keeping with the formal business style, the judge should be addressed by his full title and first and last name in the address block, and by the title "Judge" and his last name in the salutation, advises The Law Dictionary. The more professional the presentation of the letter, the more serious the judge is likely to take it. The letter should be closely proofread after it is finished to catch any errors that could undermine the professional presentation.