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187 votes
Accepted

Why does the pardon of Arpaio show contempt for the rule of law?

tl;dr: Arpaio was sentenced for violating a court order, which ordered him to stop violating the law. In this case, a presidential pardon takes away any recourse the judiciary has, thus circumventing ...
tim's user avatar
  • 37.1k
75 votes
Accepted

Can a person refuse a presidential pardon?

It is possible to reject a pardon. Referring to United States v. Wilson: There is nothing peculiar in a pardon which ought to distinguish it in this respect from other facts; no legal principle ...
Teleka's user avatar
  • 5,425
67 votes

Can a person refuse a presidential pardon?

The question is theoretical. But there's no need to theorize. There's at least one case of a convict successfully rejecting a presidential pardon. The Supreme Court ruled on this case in 1833, saying ...
Michael Benjamin's user avatar
50 votes

Why does the pardon of Arpaio show contempt for the rule of law?

First, while nobody doubts that the act is lawful, the right to pardon is controversial by itself. It is a power by which the executive "breaks" the separation of powers and changes a decision coming ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 31.9k
49 votes

What checks exist against overuse of presidential pardons in the USA?

Given that "an impeachable offense is whatever half of the House of Representatives considers it to be", impeachment could be a possible remedy if a President's actions were flagrantly ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Could Snowden (in theory) be pardoned by the US president?

Yes, the constitution allows pardoning people who haven't been charged. Reduction of a sentence is not technically considered pardoning. A President can pardon someone who hasn't be charged. Pardons ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
37 votes
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Can a US president give preemptive pardons?

In Ex parte Garland, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 333 (1866), the Supreme Court ruled on the limitations of the presidential pardon: 153 The Constitution provides that the President 'shall have power to grant ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
35 votes
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How was this person considered for a pardon in Iceland?

The law in Iceland dates from the 1940s, and is modelled on Danish laws of the period. Pre-1940, an adult convicted of a serious crime (one which is "outrageous to public opinion" and leads to a ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
34 votes
Accepted

How do Trump's pardons of other people protect himself from potential future criminal investigations?

As best I can tell, these pardons are meant as rewards for being loyal to Trump, not as protections. They don't actually protect Trump in any way: the contrary, in fact, since pardoning someone ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 70.4k
33 votes

Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers?

There is a proverb that hard cases make bad laws. The pardon power is a check and balance on laws and their application. The legislative has to write laws with general scope. The judiciary ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 110k
32 votes
Accepted

Can a United States President issue a self-pardon?

It remains unclear if the President can pardon himself. However, the Constitution gives broad leeway to who a President can pardon. Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
32 votes
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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 ...
SoylentGray's user avatar
  • 8,889
29 votes
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Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers?

Question: Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers? In a word: history... The case of the US is tied to that of the UK. In the UK you have the Royal ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
29 votes

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

Usually there is none. The legitimization for pardon powers is usually that there should be a person in the loop who is able to look at the individual case (unlike the legislature) but isn't bound to ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 77.6k
27 votes

What checks exist against overuse of presidential pardons in the USA?

Theoretically, the congress could try to impeach. BUT, in reality, presidents often wait until his final days/hours to grant the most controversial pardons. And once a pardon is granted, there is no ...
dolphin_of_france's user avatar
23 votes

Is there a preferred time in their presidency when US presidents pardon the most people?

The most popular month for both Pardons and Clemency is December, during the holidays. Clemency (commuting the sentence without restoring rights) is far more popular among modern presidents than ...
SurpriseDog's user avatar
  • 1,550
23 votes
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Has Matt Bevin explained his reasoning for the pardons he has recently issued?

Yes, at least depending on what you count as "explaining". He also went on a 20-post twitter tirade about it. His main points seem to be that, first and foremost, the criticism is manufactured by ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
22 votes

Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers?

The President has pardon power in part to prevent abuses by the other branches of government Let's start with this statement of yours: In a political system having separation of powers and where ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 15.7k
19 votes

Can the US president pardon a non-US citizen?

...He shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. The president can grant a pardon for offences against the United States. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
18 votes
Accepted

Can the U.S. President pardon a corporation?

Corporations can be, and often are, found guilty of criminal violations, which are normally punished by fines, although in some cases loss of some license, or a ban from being eligible for government ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 2,621
18 votes

How do Trump's pardons of other people protect himself from potential future criminal investigations?

I haven't read the article, but I'm guessing people in prison are more likely to strike a deal and help with an investigation, in return for some favors like early release etc. I don't recall the ...
against very long user names's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

How can US presidents commute criminal sentences?(i.e. Manning Jan 17), but UK Prime-ministers can't?

The US President's Pardon-Power The United States Constitution gives the President the ability to pardon criminal offences: he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.9k
16 votes

Could Snowden (in theory) be pardoned by the US president?

As far as I am aware, pardoning means to reduce a sentence. That's commutation. While that's part of the pardon power in the United States, that's not actually a pardon. As per Wikipedia: ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 89.8k
16 votes

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

The entire point of pardon powers (as per the answers to your earlier question) is that they are discretionary, to allow for justice when the legal system produces an unjust outcome. Having written ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

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? Any pardon that an impeached President makes prior to being convicted on ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.6k
14 votes

Why do presidential pardons exist in a country having a clear separation of powers?

No matter how you structure the government, on any point there is always somebody who has the final say. The only alternative is that nothing falling under that topic is ever finally settled, until ...
EvilSnack's user avatar
  • 1,592
13 votes

Can presidential pardons be made and then classified as secret to avoid making the pardon public?

The Department of Justice is an office of the Executive. If the Chief Executive desires that they refrain from prosecuting a case, he may simply issue that order behind closed doors. There are very ...
Eikre's user avatar
  • 1,802
13 votes

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

The House of Representatives can only impeach the President for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." If the House wanted to (and they almost certainly would), they would ...
IllusiveBrian's user avatar
12 votes

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

U.S. Constitution, 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. [...
Rain Willow's user avatar
  • 4,130

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