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President’s Power to Grant Pardon in Case of a Death Sentence - Whether it is to be his Unfettered Discretion?

By Naveen Thakur

Published In

Cri LJ 1999

A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is be stowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed.  — United State v. Wilson, 7 Pel 150  — Burdick v. United States, 236 US 79 The question of the President’s power to grant pardon in case of a sentence of death has come up for discussion before the public from time to time. This is not a purely legal matter and involves several ethical and social implications. Unfortunately a few misconceptions prevail on the subject, because of the failure to appreciate several important socio-legal aspects. The Constitution of India, by Article 72(1), gives to President the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence, inter alia, where the sentence is ....

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