Power of the Pardon

The White House

The President has the power to pardon and grant a reprieve to anyone accused or convicted of a crime.


Presidential power to grant pardons and reprieves is absolute, except in the case of impeachment. A pardon is a legal forgiveness for a crime. Pardons are almost always issued only after someone has been convicted of a crime. The most well known pardon in American history, however, was given before a conviction: President Ford issued a pardon to President Nixon for all "offenses against the United States" committed during his presidency. As of January 2014 President Obama has used the pardon power less then any Preisdent since President Washington.