Anyone who argues “but Obama” is intellectually dishonest with themselves and others with whom they make that argument. Every president in my memory seems to abuse this Constitutionally valid provision for the president to pardon.
“… he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” (USCS Const. Art. II, § 2, Cl 1)
I understand a president pardoning or commuting the sentence of someone who received a morally questionable sentence or conviction. By the way, pardoning and commuting are different.
According to the Justice Department, a commutation of sentence reduces a sentence, either totally or partially, that is then being served, but it does not change the fact of conviction, imply innocence, or remove civil disabilities that apply to the convicted person as a result of the criminal conviction.
Separately, a pardon is an expression of the President’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence. It does not signify innocence.
I’d like in the next election for a moderator to ask candidates about their thoughts on the presidential pardon.
What would you change about the pardon power?