Executive Clemency Law and Legal Definition

Executive clemency is the power of the President in federal criminal cases to pardon a person convicted of a crime. Governor of state in state convictions also has the power to exercise executive clemency. A person can seek executive clemency by pardon, reprieve, commutation of sentence, or remission of fine. The President or the Governor exercise the power when there are real doubts about the guilt of the party, apparent excessive sentence, humanitarian reasons such as illness of an aged inmate, to clear the record of someone who has demonstrated rehabilitation or public service, or because the party is a political or personal friend of the Governor.