It used to be that the Board of Pardons and Paroles would handle all of the applications received in a given month at the next Board meeting. This meant that the Board's meetings were not equal in length/time, and could vary greatly depending on the volume of clemency applications received. The Board has recently made a change in that they only handle a certain number of applications in a given month (I believe they handle 5 per meeting, but don't know this for certain). This means that there is a backlog of applications waiting for hearings.
As a result, the process of attempting to obtain an exceptional pardon or other forms of clemency is a lengthier process than it used to be. Getting an application in to the Board for consideration as quickly as possible is important, as the applications are heard by the Board in the order they are received.