In the Constitution with Annotations the following is written in Footnote 6 (link)
"A pardon may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment."
I was in surprise when reading those lines. Isn't it plausible to argue a pardon can only be only decided on, when the full extent of a crime is known i.e. has been looked at by the judiciary? On the other hand a pardon before legal proceeding probably makes sense, when it is for the greater good of the nation. For example thinking back, to prevent the outbreak of a civil war. (interesting answers I found in that context: https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/44047/35704, https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/35915/35704, https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/44085/35704, https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/44114/35704)
The only case I found so far where a pardon was given before legal proceedings was to the former president Nixon.
- Are there other known cases? What details are known regarding the reasoning?
- Regarding the former president Nixon, are there credible attempts looking at possible consequences if the pardon would not have been given?