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Presidential Powers

Pardon Power

The president is given the power under the Constitution to "grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." The president may grant a full pardon to a person accused or convicted of a federal crime, releasing the person from any punishment and restoring her or his CIVIL RIGHTS. The president may also issue conditional pardons that forgive the convicted person in part, reduce a penalty a specified number of years, or alter a penalty with conditions.

A pardon is generally a private transaction between the president and an individual. However, in 1977, President JIMMY CARTER granted an AMNESTY that was, in effect, a blanket pardon to those who were either deserters or draft evaders during the VIETNAM WAR.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Prerogative orders to ProhibitionPresidential Powers - Veto Power, Executive Orders, Powers Of Appointment, Pardon Power, Power Of Impoundment, Foreign Policy Powers