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Presidential pardon

Date: 15 November 2020 Tags: Constitution


With Donald Trump’s presidency entering its final weeks, he is expected to make full use of the outgoing presidential tradition of granting pardons. 



 Some fear that the US President will wield his expansive power to pardon some of his closest aides, family members, and maybe even himself.



  • The US President has the power to pardon individuals for nearly any crime committed in the country. He is not answerable for his pardons, and does not even have to provide a reason for issuing one.

  • All modern presidents of the United States have the constitutional right to pardon or commute the sentence of people who have broken federal laws. 


Pardon in India

  • Under the Constitution of India (Article 72), the President of India can grant a pardon or reduce the sentence of a convicted person, particularly in cases involving capital punishment.

  • The governor of states also has pardoning powers but they cannot pardon capital sentence. They do not have powers in case of court martial.


Types of Pardon

It removes all type of conviction or charges on an individual. All the criminal charges will be removed and he will be considered non-guilty.



Replace an existing punishment with an alternative less severe form. This award is usually given for converting capital punishment to life imprisonment.



Reducing the period of the sentence without changing its nature. For example, instead of 10 years of imprisonment awarding 5 years of imprisonment.



Awarding a lesser sentence to replace the original one due to reasons of compassion. Ex: Awarding lesser sentence to pregnant convict.



Staying the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. It will give time for convict to approach higher authority.