Not Just Turkeys.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states presidents “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment. ” Presidents have pardoned many turkeys around Thanksgiving, but what is the president’s power of pardon really about? How is it used? Is it abused?
Presidents may pardon federal convicts, and most have done so. The power to pardon is not relished by executives, at the national or state level (governors deal with the issue more frequently, and keep in mind most violent crimes are tried at the state level). Pardons are not a popular act of presidents and governors. In fact they often wait until their final days in office to issue pardons. Why do you think presidential pardones are so unpopular?
UC-Santa Barbara’s Presidency Project offers a list of presidential pardons.
Do some research and determine what were some of the more controversial pardons? What types of crimes top the list? And what was the public reaction to the more notable pardons?
Photo/Image: President Ronald Reagan, White House Photo