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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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If a governor or president pardons someone who has not been

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If a governor or president pardons someone who has not been indicted for any crime, does it not follow that pardon was based on the assumption that said pardoned person was indeed guilty?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

That is certainly one viewpoint. A pardon can be given at any point after a crime is alleged to have been committed (though the pardon application process is lengthy, it takes about 2 years on average from application to decision, typically). However, there are other reasons a pardon may be granted. One such reason is to end the debate on a divisive issue. President Ford reportedly pardoned Nixon for this very reason - that he believed the Watergate scandal had torn the country apart and that a potential trial (a likelihood at that point for Nixon) would only tear at the peace and tranquility the country was experiencing for the next year before the trial even got underway. While controversial at the time -and maybe still so -- it did effectively end discussion into how the matter should be handled. To my knowledge, President Ford never publicly stated what he believed about Nixon's guilt or innocence.

It is not likely given the time involved in the pardon process that President Obama will issue a pardon to Secretary Clinton, who has not sought a pardon. Furthermore, there are many that say President Obama is riding a wave of popularity as he ends his term and offering a pardon would (at least temporarily) tarnish his legacy and reputation.

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