PRESIDENT Donald Trump has wielded the power to pardon many people and even some turkeys.
Some have speculated that he may try to pardon himself.
What is the president's pardon power?
The pardon power comes from the US Constitution and is one of the broadest available to a president.
The nation’s founders saw the pardon power as a way to show mercy and serve the public good.
Pardons are typically given to people who have been prosecuted and can cover conduct that has not yet resulted in legal proceedings.
A pardon is not reviewable by other branches of government and the president does not have to give a reason for issuing one.
A pardon wipes out a criminal conviction, but only applies to federal crimes.
Can a president pardon himself?
No president has ever tried it, and there is no concrete answer.
“When people ask me if a president can pardon himself, my answer is always, ‘Well, he can try,’” Brian Kalt, a constitutional law professor at Michigan State University, tells Reuters.
“The Constitution does not provide a clear answer on this.”
Legal experts say that a self-pardon would be unconstitutional because it violates the basic principle that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case.
Has anyone refused a presidential pardon?
A turkey has never refused a presidential pardon
A man named George Wilson declined a pardon after being convicted of robbing a US mail carrier in 1830.
Both Wilson and accomplice James Porter were captured and tried, and both were convicted and sentenced to death.
Porter was hanged as scheduled, but friends of Wilson pleaded with President Andrew Jackson for mercy.
Jackson issued a pardon and Wilson could have avoided execution and served a period of time behind bars.
Wilson refused the pardon.
The US Supreme Court ruled in 1833, according to Mental Floss, that "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 be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.”
It is not clear if Wilson was executed, according to Mental Floss.
There has been speculation that Trump could try to pardon himself preemptively to cover the possibility of prosecution after he leaves office.
Trump was defeated in the November 3 election by Joe Biden and will leave office on January 20.
The president tweeted in 2018: "As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?"
"In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!"
Trump has pardoned dozens of people while president, including controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Dinesh D'Souza, and Alice Johnson.
It is also a tradition for presidents to pardon certain lucky turkeys during Thanksgiving week.
Who is ineligible for a presidential pardon?
A pardon only applies to federal crimes.
Pardons would not protect the president or Trump associates from the criminal investigation being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a state prosecutor.
Who qualifies for a presidential pardon?
A president can pardon an individual for nearly any offense committed against the US.
There are no limits to how many people a president can pardon.
In 2001, former President Bill Clinton pardoned his own brother, Roger, who was convicted for cocaine possession in Arkansas.
Clinton pardoned about 450 people, including a Democratic Party donor, Marc Rich, who fled the country after being accused of tax evasion.
Can a president pardon someone on death row?
Presidents can commute the sentences of killers on death row.
The most famous case may be Oscar Collazo, who tried to kill President Harry S Truman in 1950.
Secret Service officer Leslie Coffelt was mortally wounded by Collazo's accomplice Griselio Torresola, who was killed.
Collazo was sentenced to death, but Truman would later commute his punishment to a life sentence.
President Jimmy Carter commuted Collazo's sentence to time served in 1979.
What is the effect of a presidential pardon?
A pardon wipes out a criminal conviction and could potentially give an individual his or her freedom.
A different form of executive clemency, known as a commutation, leaves the conviction intact but wipes out the punishment.
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How do I apply for a US pardon?
All petitions, except petitions relating to military offenses, should be emailed to the Office of the Pardon Attorney at [email protected]
The Justice Department instructs: "While email allows your transmission to be accepted and processed more quickly and allows us to correspond with you more easily, we will also accept mailed materials at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Pardon Attorney, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20530. "