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List of people pardoned or granted clemency by the president of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President Gerald Ford announces his decision to pardon former president Richard Nixon, September 8, 1974, in an Oval Office address to the nation.
President Gerald Ford announces his decision to pardon former president Richard Nixon, September 8, 1974, in an Oval Office address to the nation.

This is a partial list of people pardoned or granted clemency by the President of the United States. The plenary power to grant a pardon or a reprieve is granted to the president of the United States by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution; the only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to federal offenses, and that they cannot affect an impeachment process: "The president shall ... have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".[1]

Though pardons have been challenged in the courts, and the power to grant them challenged by Congress, the Court has consistently declined to put limits on the president's discretion. The president can issue a full pardon, reversing a criminal conviction (along with its legal effects) as if it never happened. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. The president can issue a reprieve, commuting a criminal sentence, lessening its severity, its duration, or both while leaving a record of the conviction in place. Additionally, the president can make a pardon conditional, or vacate a conviction while leaving parts of the sentence in place, like the payment of fines or restitution.[1][2]

Approximately 20,000 pardons and commutations were issued by U.S. presidents in the 20th century alone.[citation needed] Pardons granted by presidents from George Washington until Grover Cleveland's first term (1885–1889) were handwritten by the president; thereafter, pardons were prepared for the president by administrative staff requiring only that the president sign it.[3] The records of these presidential acts were openly available for public inspection until 1934. In 1981 the Office of the Pardon Attorney was created and records from President George H. W. Bush forward are now listed.[4]

George Washington

President George Washington pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 16 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Philip Vigol (or Wigle) and John Mitchel, convicted of treason for their roles in the Whiskey Rebellion

John Adams

Federalist president John Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 20 people.[3] Among them are:

Thomas Jefferson

Democratic-Republican president Thomas Jefferson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 119 people.[3] One of his first acts upon taking office was to issue a general pardon for any person convicted under the Sedition Act.[5] Among them are:

James Madison

Democratic-Republican president James Madison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 196 people.[3] Among them are:

James Monroe

Democratic-Republican president James Monroe pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 419 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Numerous individuals convicted of piracy.[7]

John Quincy Adams

Democratic-Republican president John Quincy Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 183 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Captain L. O. Helland – arrested for having more passengers on board the vessel (Restauration) than were allowed by American law; pardoned in 1825
  • Wekau and Chickhonsic – Ho-Chunk leaders pardoned for their role in the Winnebago War[8]

Andrew Jackson

Democratic president Andrew Jackson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 386 people.[3] Among them is:

  • George Wilson – convicted of robbing the United States mails. Strangely, Wilson refused to accept the pardon. The case went before the Supreme Court, and in United States v. Wilson the court stated: "A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him." Rather than serve a sentence of 20 years, Wilson was executed by hanging.[9]

Martin Van Buren

Democratic president Martin Van Buren pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 168 people.[3] Among them are:

William Henry Harrison

Whig president William Henry Harrison was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being James Garfield. This was due to Harrison's death shortly after taking office.

John Tyler

Whig president John Tyler pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 209 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Alexander William Holmes – sailor convicted of voluntary manslaughter (U.S. v. Holmes); pardoned

James K. Polk

Democratic president James K. Polk pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 268 people.[3] Among them are:

Zachary Taylor

Whig president Zachary Taylor pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 38 people.[3]

Millard Fillmore

Whig president Millard Fillmore pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 170 people.[3] Among them are:

  • Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres – convicted in the Pearl incident (transporting slaves to freedom); pardoned

Franklin Pierce

Democratic president Franklin Pierce pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 142 people.[3]

  • Noah Hanson – a free black man who was tried and convicted of assisting slaves to escape, convicted in 1851; pardoned in 1854; only known presidential pardon of a black person for Underground Railroad activities;[10]

James Buchanan

Democratic president James Buchanan pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 150 people.[3] Among them are:

Abraham Lincoln

Republican president Abraham Lincoln pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 343 people.[3] Among them are:

Andrew Johnson

Democratic president Andrew Johnson pardoned about 7,000 people in the "over $20,000" class by May 4, 1866. More than 600 prominent North Carolinians were pardoned just before the election of 1864.[15] President Andrew Johnson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 654 people.[3] Among them are:

Ulysses S. Grant

Republican president Ulysses S. Grant pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,332 people.[3] Among them are:

Rutherford B. Hayes

Republican president Rutherford B. Hayes pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 893 people.[3] Among them is:

James Garfield

Republican president James A. Garfield was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being William Henry Harrison. This was due to Garfield's assassination shortly after he took office.

Chester A. Arthur

Republican president Chester A. Arthur pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 337 people.[3] Among them is:

Grover Cleveland

Democratic president Grover Cleveland pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,107 (est.) people during his two, non-consecutive terms.[3] Among them are:

Benjamin Harrison

Republican president Benjamin Harrison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 613 people.[3] Among them are:

Grover Cleveland

See list under first term.

William McKinley

Republican president William McKinley pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 918 (est.) people.[3] Among them are:

  • Alexander McKenzieNorth Dakota political activist convicted of contempt of court in 1901; pardoned after spending three months in prison
  • Charles Chilton Moore – Atheist newspaper publisher jailed for sending obscene material in the mail in 1899; sentence commuted after six months in prison

Theodore Roosevelt

Republican president Theodore Roosevelt pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 981 (est.) people.[3][18] Among them are:

William Howard Taft

Republican president William Howard Taft pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 758 people.[3] Among them are:

Woodrow Wilson

Democratic president Woodrow Wilson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,480 people.[3] Among them are:

Warren Harding

Republican president Warren G. Harding pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 800 people.[3] Among them are:

Calvin Coolidge

Republican president Calvin Coolidge pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,545 people.[3] Among them are:

Herbert Hoover

Republican president Herbert Hoover pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,385 people.[3] Among them are:

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt granted 3,687 pardons in his four terms in office.[3] Among them are:

Harry Truman

Democratic president Harry S. Truman pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,044 people.[20] Among them are:

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,157 people.[20] Among them is:

  • Maurice L. Schick – military court-martial for brutal murder; death sentence commuted to life imprisonment, with the condition that he would never be released. Legal challenge went to the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the punishment "Life Imprisonment Without Parole". Decided in Schick v. Reed that to be so sentenced was constitutional.

It is important to note that "until the Eisenhower Administration, each pardon grant was evidenced by its own separate warrant signed by the president. President Eisenhower began the practice of granting pardons by the batch, through the device of a "master warrant" listing all of the names of those pardoned, which also delegated to the Attorney General (or, later, the Deputy Attorney General or Pardon Attorney) authority to sign individual warrants evidencing the president's action."[22]

John F. Kennedy

Democratic president John F. Kennedy pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 575 people.[20] Among them are:

Lyndon B. Johnson

Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 1,187 people.[20] Among them are:

Richard Nixon

Republican president Richard Nixon pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 926 people.[20] Among them are:

  • Jimmy Hoffa – prominent labor union leader convicted of fraud and bribery (tax evasion) in 1964; sentence commuted (with conditions) on December 23, 1971
  • Angelo DeCarlo – convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and extortion in March 1970; was pardoned in late 1972 due to poor health, died on October 20, 1973.

Gerald Ford

Republican president Gerald Ford pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 409 people.[20] Among them are:

Jimmy Carter

Democratic president Jimmy Carter pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 566 people,[20] and in addition to that pardoned over 200,000 Vietnam War draft dodgers.[25] Among them are:

Ronald Reagan

Republican president Ronald Reagan pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 406 people.[20] Among them are:

George H. W. Bush

Republican president George H. W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 77 people.[20] Among them are:

Bill Clinton

Democratic president Bill Clinton pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 459 people.[20] Among them are:

George W. Bush

Republican president George W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 200 people.[20] Among them were:

Barack Obama

Democratic president Barack Obama pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the conviction of 1,927 people.[34] Among them were:

  • James Cartwright, retired US Marine Corps four-star general, he pleaded guilty to giving false statements to federal investigators in 2016 and was awaiting sentencing. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[35]
  • Dwight J. Loving, U.S. Army private sentenced to death in Texas for murdering two taxi drivers in 1988. Commuted to life without parole on January 17, 2017.[36]
  • Chelsea Manning, U.S. Army whistleblower convicted by court-martial in July 2013, sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Commuted on January 17, 2017.[37]
  • Willie McCovey, professional baseball player, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995 and received two years probation and a $5,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[38]
  • Ian Schrager, former co-owner of the famed dance club Studio 54, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1979 and received three and a half years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.[39]
  • Oscar López Rivera, FALN member sentenced in 1981 to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property, and subsequently to an additional 15 years for attempted escape in 1988. Commuted on January 17, 2017.[40]

Donald Trump

As of August 18, 2020, Republican president Donald Trump pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the conviction of 39 people. Among them were:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Constitutional Topic: Presidential Pardons". usconstitution.net. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Pfiffner, James. "Essays on Article II:Pardon Power". The Heritage Guide to The Constitution. Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Ruckman, Jr., P. S. (November 4, 1995). "Federal Executive Clemency in United States". Archived from the original on March 26, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  4. ^ Clark, Josh (August 9, 2007). "How Presidential Pardons Work". howstuffworks.com. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Slack, Charles (2015). Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech. Atlantic Monthly Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0802123428.
  6. ^ Ingersoll, Charles Jared (1852). History of the second war between the United States of America and Great Britain: declared by act of Congress, the 18th of June, 1812, and concluded by peace, the 15th of February, 1815. 2. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. pp. 82–83.
  7. ^ Preston, Daniel (2000). A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe [Two Volumes]. ABC-CLIO/Greenwood. pp. 788ff. ISBN 978-0-313-31426-1.
  8. ^ Hall, John W. (2009). Uncommon Defense: Indian Allies in the Black Hawk War. Harvard University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-674-03518-8.
  9. ^ Trex, Ethan. "11 notable presidential pardons". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Sold – Only Known Presidential Pardon of a Black Person For Underground Railroad Activities". Raab Collection. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "President James Buchanan, on His Next to Last Day in Office, Pardons a Judge". Shapell Manuscript Collection. SMF.
  12. ^ "Abraham Lincoln: Deciding the Fate of 300 Indians Convicted of War Crimes in Minnesota's Great Sioux Uprising". historynet.com. June 12, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  13. ^ p. 34, Vallandigham, Clement Laird. The Trial Hon. Clement L. Vallandigham by a Military Commission: and the Proceedings Under His Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Circuit Court of the US for the Southern District of Ohio. Cincinnati, OH: Rickey and Carroll, 1863.
  14. ^ "Abraham Lincoln Exercises Clemency". Shapell Manuscript Collection. SMF.
  15. ^ Franklin, John Hope (1961). Reconstruction After the Civil War. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 33–34.
  16. ^ Johnson, Andrew. (December 25, 1868). Proclamation 179 – Granting Full Pardon and Amnesty for the Offense of Treason Against the United States During the Late Civil War. presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  17. ^ Harrison, Benjamin (January 4, 1893). "Proclamation 346 – Granting Amnesty and Pardon for the Offense of Engaging in Polygamous or Plural Marriage to Members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints". presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  18. ^ More are listed at the Presidential pardons page at Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt.
  19. ^ United States Supreme Court. "Burdick v. United States 236 U.S. 79 (1915)". justia.com.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Presidential Clemency Statistics: 1900 to Present". US Department of Justice – Office of the Pardon Attorney. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  21. ^ Truman, Harry S. (December 23, 1947). "Proclamation 2762: Granting Pardon to Certain Persons Convicted of Violating the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 as Amended". Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  22. ^ Love, Margaret Colgate (2000). "Of Pardons, Politics and Collar Buttons: Reflections on the President's Duty to be Merciful". Fordham Urban Law Journal. 27 (5): 1491. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "A CODE TO KEEP: The True Story of America's Longest-Held Civilian Prisoner of War in Vietnam by Ernest C. Brace". Kirkus Reviews. February 23, 1988. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  24. ^ "Commutations granted by President Gerald Ford (1974 - 1977)". Justice.gov. January 8, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Texts of Documents on the Pardon". The New York Times. January 22, 1977. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  26. ^ Trex, Ethan (January 5, 2009). "11 notable presidential pardons". CNN. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  27. ^ a b Ingram Chronicles, Forbes, June 9, 1999
  28. ^ "Federal Presidential Pardon". Levin & Zeiger LLP. April 25, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  29. ^ Rudin, Ken (January 26, 2001). "I Beg Your Pardon". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  30. ^ "Statement of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton Following Today's Oral Argument Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Re: United States of America V. Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean" (PDF) (Press release). U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas. December 3, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 14, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  31. ^ Rose, Lisa (November 30, 2008). "Talent and friends get singer John Forte out of jail". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  32. ^ a b Calia, Mike; Pramuk, Jacob (April 13, 2018). "President Trump pardons former Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby". CNBC.
  33. ^ Stout, David; Lichtblau, Eric (December 24, 2008). "Pardon Lasts One Day for Man in Fraud Case". The New York Times.
  34. ^ Malloy, Allie (December 20, 2016). "Obama grants clemency to 231 individuals, largest single day act". CNN. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  35. ^ Savage, Charlie (December 20, 2017). "Obama Pardons James Cartwright, General Who Lied to F.B.I. in Leak Case". The New York Times.
  36. ^ "Obama commutes death sentence for ex-soldier from Texas". Houston Chronicle. January 17, 2017.
  37. ^ Savage, Charlie (January 17, 2017). "Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning's Sentence". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  38. ^ "Willie McCovey pardoned by President Barack Obama". ESPN. January 17, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  39. ^ Nir, Sarah Maslin (December 20, 2017). "On Obama's Pardon List: A Hotel Magnate Who Owned Studio 54". The New York Times.
  40. ^ Levin, Sam (January 17, 2017). "Obama commutes sentence for political prisoner Oscar López Rivera". The Guardian. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  41. ^ Hirschfeld, Julie; Haberman, Maggie (August 25, 2017). "Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio, Who Became Face of Crackdown on Illegal Immigration". The New York Times.
  42. ^ "Breaking News: Sholom Rubashkin Has Been Freed From Prison". The Yeshiva World. December 20, 2017.
  43. ^ Olson, Wyatt (March 9, 2018). "Trump pardons sailor convicted of photographing sub's nuclear propulsion system". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
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  46. ^ "Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  47. ^ "Trump Pardons Jack Johnson, Heavyweight Boxing Champion". The New York Times. May 24, 2018.
  48. ^ "Trump posthumously pardons heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson". CNN. May 24, 2018.
  49. ^ "Boxer Jack Johnson is posthumously pardoned by President Trump". The Washington Post. May 24, 2018.
  50. ^ "Trump pardons conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza, suggests others also could receive clemency". The Washington Post. May 31, 2018.
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External links

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