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Ohio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard

Statistics On Clemency

Generally, clemency is an act of mercy or leniency. Clemency includes pardons, reprieves, and commutations of criminal sentences, and it is given to a criminal defendant by the president on the federal level, and, in most instances, by the governor on the state level.

There is no single source for data on the granting of clemency in the United States, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons and Amnesty International began gathering data on the issue in the late twentieth century. The general trend is to grant clemency in fewer cases.

Between 1972 and 1993, at least 70 prison inmates who were sentenced to death had their death sentences commuted to prison terms. Approximately 58 percent of the clemencies were granted because the government believed that it would lose on appeal, and clemency was less expensive than challenging the appeal in court. All of the 38 states that allow the death penalty have given the governor and/or the parole board the power to grant clemency to death row inmates.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentOhio Adult Parole Authority v. Woodard - Significance, Background, A Protected Life Interest On Death Row, Safeguarding Against Irresponsible Clemency, Impact