Presidential Pardons

pardon

pardon, in law, exemption from punishment for a criminal conviction granted by the grace of the executive of a government. A general pardon to a class of persons guilty of the same offense (e.g., insurrection) is an amnesty. A pardon (at least in the United States) absolutely terminates criminal liability, including any restrictions that result from a criminal conviction (though the pardoned person is not exonerated from the civil liability that a crime may have incurred). A pardon is thus to be distinguished from alleviation of punishment (such as commutation of sentence, reprieve, and parole), which does not nullify the conviction and all of its effects. The Constitution of the United States gives the president power to grant reprieves and pardons for all federal crimes, but he may not release a person from the effects of impeachment; pardons issued by the president are unreviewable. In most of the states the governor has nearly the same power in respect to state crimes. Usually, the governor may not pardon those convicted of treason or criminal contempt of court. In canon law the pardon is the absolution granted in penance; in the Middle Ages the word was used commonly to mean an indulgence (hence pardoner, a dispenser of indulgences).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Presidential Pardons: Selected full-text books and articles

Executive Clemency in the United States: Origins, Development, and Analysis By Ruckman, P. S., Jr Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, Spring 1997
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Pardon Me? the Constitutional Case against Presidential Self-Pardons By Kalt, Brian C The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 3, December 1996
The Law: When Presidential Power Backfires: Clinton's Use of Clemency By Fisher, Louis Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 3, September 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gerald R. Ford and the Politics of Post-Watergate America By Alexej Ugrinsky; Bernard J. Firestone Greenwood Press, vol.1, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Part II "The Pardon of Richard Nixon"
Inside Lincoln's Clemency Decision Making By Ruckman, P. S. JR.; Kincaid, David Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, March 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Presidential Frontiers: Underexplored Issues in White House Politics By Ryan J. Barilleaux Praeger Publishers, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Overlooked Relevance of the Pardon Power"
The White House Speaks: Presidential Leadership as Persuasion By Kathy B. Smith; Craig Allen Smith Praeger Publishers, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Coalitionless President and the Pardons"
Presidential Accountability: New and Recurring Problems By John Orman Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Exercise of the President's Discretionary Power in the Criminal Justice Policy Arena"
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