Define Pardon

Discover what pardon really means in legal terms and how it can impact individuals and society. Explore examples, case studies, and statistics on this important aspect of the justice system.

Understanding Pardon

Pardon is a legal term that refers to the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is typically granted by a government official, such as a president or governor, and is seen as an act of mercy or clemency.

Types of Pardon

There are two main types of pardon: absolute pardon and conditional pardon. An absolute pardon completely wipes out the conviction and restores the individual’s full rights and privileges. A conditional pardon, on the other hand, may come with certain conditions that the individual must meet to maintain their freedom.

Examples of Pardon

One famous example of a pardon is when President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed during his time as President. This sparked controversy but was seen as an attempt to heal the nation after the Watergate scandal.

Case Studies on Pardon

In 2017, Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was granted a pardon by President Donald Trump for his conviction of criminal contempt of court. This move was criticized by many but applauded by others who believed Arpaio was unfairly targeted.

Statistics on Pardon

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 1,927 pardons granted by President Barack Obama during his time in office.
  • In 2020, the State of California granted over 100 commutations and pardons to individuals who had been rehabilitated and showed remorse for their crimes.

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