Executive Clemency Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Executive Clemency, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Executive Clemency?
n. the power of a President in federal criminal cases, and the Governor in state convictions, to pardon a person convicted of a crime, commute the sentence (shorten it, often to time already served) or reduce it from death to another lesser sentence. There are many reasons for exercising this power, including real doubts about the guilt of the party, apparent excessive sentence, humanitarian reasons such as illness of an aged inmate, to clear the record of someone who has demonstrated rehabilitation or public service, or because the party is a political or personal friend of the Governor.