Presidential Clemency

This article discusses the history and parameters of the presidential clemency power, which is unique in the breadth of powers granted to a President.

The presidential clemency power is one of the most powerful tools a President can use. The presidential clemency power can be used for mercy and to instigate policy change. Clemency is defined as mercy or leniency. The presidential clemency power the President of the United States holds is extremely broad and powerful. Many powers the…

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Executive Clemency

Executive Clemency | Power of the President| 802-444-4357

The executive clemency power is an extremely broad and powerful ability of a President and a governor. This power can be used to promote policies and to render mercy. Article 2, Section II of the Constitution states: “The President…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases…

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The Pardon of Nixon: Still Crazy After All These Years?

Pardon of Nixon

Introduction: Ford’s Pardon of Nixon On September 8, 1974, less than one month since taking office and declaring that the nation’s “long national nightmare is over,” President Gerald R. Ford, addressed the nation from the Oval Office.  His speech would be the defining moment of Ford’s term in office.  In a heartfelt, somber address, President…

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Presidential Clemency Authority: What You Need to Know

Presidential Clemency Authority

Philip Vigol. Robert E. Lee. David Brown. John Fremont. Pierre Lafitte. Al Jennings. Samuel Mudd. Marc Rich. Patty Hearst. Jimmy Hoffa. Who were these people? Some of their names may be familiar to you, others completely unknown. They lived in different times, and were accused of or committed different crimes: treason, sedition, murder, bank robbery,…

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The Presidential Pardon and the Constitution

Presidential Pardon and the Constitution

According to Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, “The President…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” While this clause is relatively short compared to others in the Constitution, it gives enormous power to the President of the United States. While many of the President’s…

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The History of the Presidential Pardon

History of the Presidential Pardon

The presidential pardon power derives from Britain and continued in the creation of the United States Constitution. The founders hoped this power would be a useful tool for a president to combat injustice. “…he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” — Article II,…

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Pardoning State Crimes

Pardoning State Crimes

The inability to pardon state crimes is one of the few restrictions imposed on the President of the United States. State governors hold the power to grant clemency to those convicted of state offenses. Difference Between the Pardoning of Federal and State Crimes Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution grants the president the power…

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Snowden’s Pardon Petition

Snowden's Pardon Petition

Is he a hero or traitor; innocent whistleblower or guilty of treason?  Edward J. Snowden sparked a controversy on intelligence gathering, use of technology to spy on Americans and foreigners alike, and the parameters of privacy in the United States today.  His actions in revealing secret government documents serve as a milestone in the age-old…

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What You Need To Know About The Pardon Attorney Office

Clemency By the Numbers

Clemency is a difficult process on both ends. It’s difficult for applicants to get recognized by the President. And for the President, it is nearly impossible to consider each and every clemency petition. The Pardon Attorney Office exists for these reasons. The Office helps the clemency application and approval process. While the President has exclusive…

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What Does “Commutation of a Sentence” Mean?

Commutation of a Sentence

Both governors and president possess the power to commute a prison sentence. This clemency power can be used to make a statement about criminal justice reform and to show mercy.  Commutation of a sentence means a reduction in punishment.  Typically, a commutation lessens a prison sentence, but it can also reduce court-ordered fines.  A commuted…

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