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What You Need To Know About Pardons


A pardon is that which is given unto an individual in order to forgive them of any crimes or offenses they may have committed and had been convicted of. In general, it will normally be set forth by the head of State Government or of Federal governments. Other terms associated pardons include "commutation, reprieves, and clemency".

Commutation entails the decreasing of one’s sentence of penalty while not actually removing it. Attaining a reprieve will, however, provide a delay in the incurring of punishment. Clemency is an encompassing term that comprises all of these terms in combination. The basis by which pardons are usually set forth includes that persons have adequately paid their debt to society for the crimes they had been convicted for. In addition, those who assume that they are wrongfully accused may also seek out a pardon.

Under United States Federal law, a Presidential pardon may be instituted as granted and set forth in Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution. It states that the President possesses the authority to "grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States". However, exceptions occur when concerning cases involving impeachment of any kind.

Every Federal pardon conveyed to the President will either be granted or denied as there is no gray area in this area of Federal procedure. Review may also be done by the "Office of the Pardon Attorney," as a sector of the Department of Justice.

Despite the existence of pardons, there also exist issues that are at odds with such a procedure. Some cite the availability of a pardon or a Presidential pardon as something directly connected to benefits politically, more than anything else, such as that which should actually provide adequate remedy for errors in the justice system. An infamous pardon was when President Gerald Ford had granted a pardon for the ex-President Richard M. Nixon. President Ford had pardoned Nixon for his part in the Watergate scandal. This represented a Presidential pardon that did not garner much praise from the public, however.

In respect to the procedure set forth by the Justice Department, recommendations are set forth for individuals seeking a pardon. It is suggested that they wait a period of at least 5 years following either their conviction or release from imprisonment. A Presidential pardon may then be set forth at any time that a request is received.

A pardon request will only be considered if it is in adherence with stipulations such as the completion of sentences and evidence showing that the individual had shown their renewed lives away from crime. A pardon does, however, assume a great possibility for rejection and one will need firm acceptance in order for courts to adhere to its granting.

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