Criminal Pardons Are Offered in Many Countries

by A.Noton - Date: 2010-09-24 - Word Count: 708 Share This!

When a person has committed a crime that has resulted in a prison sentence, that crime can be pardoned. There are very few people who have the power to grant criminal pardons and these would be a countries president or monarch, a church authority, or a head of state.

On occasion a criminal may also be granted a commutation rather than a pardon. These differ in that the criminal offense is not forgiven but rather it is conceived to be one where a lesser penalty should be imposed. The word clemency is simply a general term that envelopes both of these matters.

Numerous countries around the world are now allowing for the pardon of a serious offense, or allowing a lighter sentence to be given the offender. Certain things are required before these matters will even be considered and an individual has to show that they have paid their debt to society. The pardoning official has to feel that in some way the individual is deserving of these acts of mercy.

There are those who claim they have not committed the crime for which they are serving a sentence. They claim their conviction of the crime was made in the erroneous judgment of a judge or a jury. Accepting a pardon is in some way an admission of guilt, so these individuals will often wish to have their innocence proven through a court appeal. If the appeal is won, the once guilty party is totally relinquished of any wrong doing and their criminal record is wiped clean.

Many countries still maintain the practice of capital punishment. Clemency can be requested by another country if a citizen of theirs commits an act in a country that does recognize capital punishment. The sentence of such a person could be commuted to life in prison rather than the death penalty, out of respect for their own country's laws. Often clemency is practiced to maintain a good relationship between to countries.

There are variables in all countries when it comes to the practice of criminal pardons. In Canada there is an appointed National Parole Board that has been set up up and this board has the responsibility of making decisions regarding pardons. They can grant a pardon, but they also have the power to revoke or deny one. If approved, the crime involved is kept separate from any other things that could be on one's record, and although the crime is not erased, it is not allowed to be become public knowledge. A pardon will also disallow one from working in a any federal government capacity and will remove the eligibility for citizenship if the party in question is not already a citizen.

In the United Kingdom, pardons or reprieves are known as a royal prerogatives of mercy. In years past, only the monarchy was allowed to grant a pardon, and even then, the pardoned person would often be requested to remove themselves from the country and possibly relocate to Australia. In today's society, the monarchy will still grant a pardon, but only on the express advice of a government minister such as a Justice Secretary. Pardons are granted after conviction and only to those who it is felt are morally innocent of the offense.

The United States allows that only the president has the power to grant pardons involving federal offenses. If the crime is considered a state offense the governors of most states are able to impose the pardon. According to United States pardon practice, when one is granted the individual involved still has to state the crime for which he was convicted on any application form, but may also state that he was pardoned of the crime. Two US governors who were personally against the death penalty, commuted death penalties sentences to life in prison before they left their respective offices.

Every country allowing for the criminal pardons of a crime differs in how it is handled. There are also countries that refuse to consider such acts of clemency and a convicted party is left to endure the punishment handed down to them by the courts. In some countries that have minimal tolerance of any person who breaks the law can find themselves serving out a severe penalty that in another country would only require a fine.

Pardons will erase your criminal record and is proof that you have been rehabilitated. Applying for a pardon is necessary to live a productive life.n
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