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Pardon Definition

A pardon is the use of executive power by the President of the United States or a state governor that exempts the individual from punishment and clears a conviction from their record. A person who has been pardoned cannot be punished again for the forgiven offense and should not be penalized for having a record of it. The application to ask for a state pardon is called an “application for clemency.”  These applications must be in writing and sent to the Michigan Department of Corrections. Because few requests for a pardon are granted, a person seeking relief is advised to seek expert legal representation.

The 10th Circuit ruled in 2021 that accepting a pardon does not constitute a legal confession of guilt, recognizing the earlier language of the Supreme Court as dicta. Except in cases of impeachment, the president’s clemency power extends to all federal criminal offenses under the Constitution.

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