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Originally published May 26, 2011 at 5:57 PM | Page modified May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

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Notable presidential pardons through the years

The right of a sitting president to grant a pardon is granted in Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, with the only exception to this right being in cases of impeachment. Here are some notable presidential pardons.

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The right of a sitting president to grant a pardon is granted in Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, with the only exception to this right being in cases of impeachment.

Most pardons granted: Franklin D. Roosevelt, 3,687

Fewest pardons granted: James Garfield and William Henry Harrison, 0 (both died shortly after taking office)

Fewest pardons granted by a full-term president: George Washington, 16

Notable presidential pardons:

1830: President Andrew Jackson pardoned George Wilson, who had been accused of robbing a U.S. mail carrier and sentenced to death. Wilson refused the pardon and the Supreme Court eventually ruled that a pardon cannot be forced upon an individual. Wilson was hanged for his crime.

1865: President Andrew Johnson grants a sweeping pardon of former Confederate soldiers provided they take an oath of loyalty to the Union.

1971: President Nixon pardons Jimmy Hoffa, the former president of the Teamsters serving a 15-year prison sentence for jury tampering and fraud.

1974: President Ford pardons Nixon for misconduct related to the Watergate scandal.

1977: President Carter fulfills his campaign promise to pardon Vietnam draft dodgers.

1992: President George H.W. Bush pardons six high-profile Reagan administration officials accused in the Iran-contra affair, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

2001: President Clinton pardons 104 people the day before leaving office, including publishing heiress Patty Hearst, who was convicted of robbing a bank in 1976. Her prison term had earlier been commuted by Carter. Also among the 104 to receive pardons was Clinton's less-accomplished half-brother, Roger Clinton, who'd spent a year in prison after pleading guilty to cocaine-distribution charges in 1984.

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