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.
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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