A Pardon is a grant of forgiveness for a crime and the penalty associated with it. It is awarded by a head of state, such as a monarch or president, or by a competent church authority.



The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)Edit

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 187-188; 197, n. 1-2.
  • If you will apply yourself to the King, you may, and there, perhaps, you may find mercy; we must, according to the duty of our places and oaths, give such judgment as the law requires.
    • Jefferies, L.C.J., Hampden's Case (1684), 9 How. St. Tr. 1126.
  • We cannot pardon. We are to say what we take the law to be: if we do not speak our real opinions, we prevaricate with God and our own consciences.
  • Mercy is in the King's breast, but is no part of our province: and therefore your application on that head must be elsewhere.
  • Where a person interposes his interest and good offices to procure a pardon, it ought to be done gratuitously and not for money.
    • Lord Eldon, C.J., Norman r. Cole (1801), 3 Esp. 253.
  • Where the King has no share, and the King's Serjeant or Attorney-General prosecute not, and the King's name is not so much as mentioned, and only by the Commons of England, which the Courts Westminster cannot punish ; it is you that have the interest in the suit, and all the Commons of England.
    • Sir Francis Wilmington, Proceedings against Thomas Earl of Danby, Grey's "Debates," Vol. VII. 167. See also 11 How. St. Tr. 786.
  • It is the duty of the Lord Chancellor's place, if he thought it not a good pardon, to inform the King of it.
    • Per Serjeant Ellis, Proceedings against Thomas Earl of Danby for high treason (1678—1685), 11 How. St. Tr. 773.
  • The regular way of of pardons is by the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General. &c. They are men of the law, and might stop it in their office, and the rest of the offices, &c . . . . To pardon before trial, when the King knows not what fact he is to pardon, is a dangerous precedent. . . . The King cannot pardon a man, an impeachment depending.
    • Serjeant Ellis, Proceedings against Thomas Earl of Danby for high treason (1678—1685), 11 How. St. Tr. 773, 774.
  • Raleigh: Oh my lord, you may use equity.
    Popham, C.J. : That is from the King; you are to have justice from us.
    • Trial of Sir Walter Haleigh (1603), 2 How. St. Tr. 16.
  • Sequi debet potentia justitiam non praecedere: Power should follow justice, not precede it.
    • 2 Inst. 454. How. St. Tr. 341.
  • May one be pardoned and retain the offence?
    • Shakespeare, " Hamlet.

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