Questions tagged [pardon]

The power, usually held by a head of state, to free and/or absolve a person convicted of a crime. Distinct from appeals, which are processed judicially. Questions here should focus on political aspects rather than legal.

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On what basis are pardoning decisions made by presidents or governors when exercising their pardoning power?

Many countries have pardoning powers vested in the hands of presidents and governors by their constitutions. There don't appear to be any limitations on this power in many cases, but on what basis are ...
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What makes Brittney Griner more worthy of a prisoner swap?

My guess is that there are thousands of USA citizens convicted of foreign crimes (and held in prison in foreign countries), and hundreds with a misdemeanor nature similar to that of Brittney Griner's ...
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Why does the Tamil Nadu government want to release Rajiv Gandhi's assassins, and why does the Indian government oppose it?

The Union Government of India seems to be against the will of the government of the state of Tamil Nadu regarding the release of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. For example: The ...
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Why prosecute someone who has been promised a pardon?

I am specifically thinking of the McCloskey Couple who had their week of fame/infamy in the summer of this year. When circuit attorney Kim Gardner issued charges against them, Missouri Gov. said he ...
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Could a state governor use their pardon power to perform controlled experiments on sentencing policy?

My understanding is that state governors have roughly unilateral power to pardon state crimes. (First of all, is this true?) If so, suppose that a governor were to announce something like the ...
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Does the impeachment of Donald Trump render his future pardons void? [duplicate]

Usually near the end of their terms, U.S. Presidents grant pardons. It is expected from current U.S. President Donal Trump that he will grant several pardons in the following week. Granting pardons is ...
Olivier Grégoire's user avatar
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Pardoning US military commanders

Question Can a future president fully pardon any military commanders convicted of or charged with insubordination or any similar crime for refusing to follow orders of a current POTUS to take ...
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Presidential pardon before legal proceedings in the USA [closed]

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 ...
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What did the framers have to say about the idea of a self pardon?

Did they not explicitly state in the Constitution that it isn’t allowed because they thought it was ok or because the idea of that happening was too ridiculous to warrant their attention?
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Who would rule on the validity of a self pardon if there were one?

Supreme Court, Congress, State Court? Or would there be no ruling?
The Mamba's user avatar
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Does the President have the power to pardon "persons unknown"? [duplicate]

If a President wanted to pardon "persons unknown who were involved in [a particular activity or event]", would they have the power to do so? Or can a President only pardon named individuals?...
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What are the restrictions that a President has when issuing a pardon?

There is speculation that Trump might be issuing pardons for his family members even if they haven't been charged with a crime. It seems there is precedent for this and that a President can pardon ...
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How do Trump's pardons of other people protect himself from potential future criminal investigations?

A Washington Post article that describes President Trump's pardons over the last few days says the following: The move sparked blowback, mostly from Democrats, who accused him of wielding his ...
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Presidential record of personal ties with the power of pardon practice

Has there ever been a US POTUS with a record of more personal ties with the power of pardons being practiced than that of president Trump's at the current moment? While he has less than one month ...
The 'Bernie Sanders' Party's user avatar
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Trump pardons...Trump? [duplicate]

If Gerald Ford was able to preemptively pardon Richard Nixon, what would stop Trump from doing that to himself? Why doesn't every president do that, just in case?
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Can a US president give preemptive pardons?

The Trump administration discusses the possibility of pardoning Donald Trump, his family, and loyal members of the administration for crimes that they have not been charged for. Can the president ...
Connor Lonergan's user avatar
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Is there anything stopping the US President from issuing pre-emptive pardons for officials that violate court orders?

So, there has been a number of times when courts have rules against actions taken by the Trump administration on various different areas. Generally, to my knowledge, once these rulings have been made, ...
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Does the American President have to publish or file pardons?

The President of the United States has a pretty much unrestricted power to pardon offenders. Are there any laws or regulations about how to grant pardons? Could the President take a sharpie and write ...
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Can a US President realistically pardon enough people to sway an election?

Slightly inspired by this question, is there a limitation on the number of pardons a president could offer, such that it could sway the outcome of the next election? Take for example, Florida, ...
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Does a pardoning a crime "undo" punishment which has already occurred as part of the convict's sentence?

In the USA, if someone is pardoned or has their sentence commuted, does this have any effect on any aspects of their sentencing that have already been carried out? For example, this article states ...
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How does granting immunity to an already imprisoned person fit with judicial independence?

Where I live judicial independence was a hot topic for quite a while, namely that the politics should interfere as less as possible in justice. This article shows an interesting case when getting ...
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Has Matt Bevin explained his reasoning for the pardons he has recently issued?

Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin was narrowly defeated by his Democratic challenger for the title of Kentucky Governor. He used his final days in office to issue some rather alarming pardons to ...
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Is there a preferred time in their presidency when US presidents pardon the most people?

According to a tally by Thoughco Trump seems to be in the last place as far as pardons issued, compared to all presidents since 1900. But are these stats misleading given that Trump's presidency is ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
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Is there a political angle to Trump's pardon of Rodney Takumi?

It seems a really obscure 1987 case for a presidential pardon: Two years of probation and fined $250 Working at an illegal gambling parlor Is there a political angle to this pardon?
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How many royal pardons vs statutory pardons have been granted in the UK in recent times?

Wikipedia says without citing a source: The royal pardon can be contrasted with the statutory pardon, which is a pardon issued through an Act of Parliament or an Order-in-Council. The statutory ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
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Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers?

This answer provides some insight into a way for a President to pardon someone with virtually no consequences: (..) in reality, presidents often wait until his final days/hours to grant the most ...
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What checks exist against overuse of presidential pardons in the USA?

In some countries, the head of state can pardon anyone for alleged crimes. For example, in Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler pardoned murderers of communists and Soviet prisoners of war, in those cases in ...
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Can the U.S. President pardon a corporation?

The pardon power of the U.S. president is generally characterized as rather unlimited. It says [...] he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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Pardons and Sealed indictment

Can a presidential pardon release someone whom is charged in a sealed indictment that has not been unsealed and no charges have been filed at the time?
Robert L.'s user avatar
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If a person accepts a presidential pardon, can they be forced to talk about the crimes they were pardoned of?

This question stems from Can a person refuse a presidential pardon? There are also other practical effects to accepting pardons, such as waiving of fifth amendment rights relating to the pardoned ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
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Can a person refuse a presidential pardon?

Michael Cohen, a former personal attorney of President Trump, in recent testimony before Congress, stated he would not accept a presidential pardon. Is this an option he has? If a pardon nullifies a ...
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Why doesn't the Presidential Pardon power extend to State Crimes? [duplicate]

Paragraph One of Article 2, Section 2 of the United States constitution contains the following text: "The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United ...
George's user avatar
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The politics of the US presidential pardon in 2018

As is well known, Trump and his political and campaigning team are under investigation by the FBI. Dozens of people have been indicted so far and five have pled guilty. As the investigation continues, ...
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Will Trump's pardons remain valid if he is impeached?

Will the people Trump pardoned, such as Joe Arpaio and Scooter Libby remain vindicated in the event of Trump's impeachment? Are there any circumstances under which their charges could be reinstated?
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Can the US president pardon a non-US citizen?

Can the President of the United States pardon a non-US citizen for the crime that he/she may have committed in the United States? Or pardoning only works on US citizens.
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Where can I find the text of Joe Arpaio's Presidential Pardon?

I can find the text of the presidential announcement of a pardon for Joe Arpaio, however I've been led to believe that the text of a presidential pardon is usually very specific as to what the pardon ...
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How was this person considered for a pardon in Iceland?

Iceland's government is collapsing. At the heart of this is apparently a scandal involving the Prime Minister's father, who vouched for the character of a convicted sex offender. Part of the story ...
indigochild's user avatar
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What percentage of "War On Drugs" prisoners could the POTUS pardon? (aka. State Prisoner % vs Federal Prisoner %)

If the POTUS wanted to do a mass pardon for victims of the drug war; those imprisoned for merely having/using drugs, then what percentage of these people could he free unilaterally? And what ...
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Why does the pardon of Arpaio show contempt for the rule of law?

Much of the criticism of Trump's pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has centered on the idea that this shows a disrespect for the "rule of law". For instance, John McCain said (as reported in ...
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Does a Presidential Pardon apply to other crimes which are uncovered during the investigation of the pardoned crime?

If the president pardons himself of one crime being investigated and then resigns, but is then later suspected of another crime from evidence found in the initial investigation, can he be prosecuted ...
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4 answers
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Can states nullify the president's pardoning power by making federal offenses state offenses?

Can a state make federal offenses state offenses as well, so that even if the president pardons a criminal for a federal offense, they'll still be on the hook for the equivalent state offense? Edit: ...
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Can the POTUS perform a mass-pardon for those who meet certain criteria?

Let's say a POTUS wanted to legalise weed, and after doing so wanted to then free all the prisoners he could who's only crime was using/having weed, being otherwise innocent. To do this, could the ...
Tirous's user avatar
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Can the US President pardon himself? [duplicate]

After seeing this question, I was wondering what would happen if the President simply didn't respond to jury duty to the point that he was breaking a law. That, then, escalated to the thought of a ...
David Starkey's user avatar
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Could Obama have secretly pardoned Hillary? [duplicate]

We heard many news reports of many pardons Obama made. But is it possible Obama could have secretly made other pardons as well? For example, assume Obama pardoned, say, Hillary Clinton, for example: ...
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How can US presidents commute criminal sentences?(i.e. Manning Jan 17), but UK Prime-ministers can't?

What grants US Presidents the power to give Presidential Pardons, and why can't (or don't) UK Prime-ministers do it?
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2 answers
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Could Snowden (in theory) be pardoned by the US president?

The German Tagesschau writes* that Snowden was not among those pardoned by Obama, contrary to prior speculations. As far as I am aware, pardoning means to reduce a sentence. However, I thought that ...
Felix Dombek's user avatar
45 votes
8 answers
8k views

Could a US President abuse their pardon powers to unilaterally make laws?

For instance, if I really hate littering, and I somehow become President of the United States, could I effectively make littering a capital offense by promising to immediately pardon anyone who kills ...
endolith's user avatar
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Can a United States President issue a self-pardon?

In the event a President is accused or found guilty of a serious crime while in office, can they pardon themselves for it?
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Can presidential pardons be made and then classified as secret to avoid making the pardon public?

In a discussion about the current election and the possibility of an indictment being handed down after a candidate was nominated, the possibility was raised that the President may have already ...
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Why is the US president allowed to grant a pardon?

So I was reading today and I read for about the thousandth time about a presidential pardon, and I started to wonder: Why is the president allowed to grant a pardon? What are the limits of a ...
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