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Debate: Presidential pardons in the United States

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Is it justified for the US president to have the right to pardon criminals?

Background and context

The United States Constitution grants the President the power to pardon criminals who commit federal crimes. According to “Executive Clemency in the United States: Origins, Development, and Analysis (1900-1993),” the President has the ability to grant pardons, conditional pardons, commutations of sentence, conditional commutations of sentence, remissions of fines and forfeitures, respites and amnesties.

The criminal must accept the pardon for it to take effect and in doing so, admit their guilt for committing the federal crime. There is one circumstance where the President can not give a pardon, and that is if the criminal has been tried on the charge of impeachment.

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Yes

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No

  • Presidential pardons give too much power to the executive branch. No it is not justifiable for a president to pardon a criminal because that should only be the job of the U.S. justice system. If we allow our president to do this we give him more power that he does not need.



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