And he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States,

from Constitutional Convention (Ft. James Madison & Thomas Jefferson) – The U.S. Constitution (Article 2) on Rap Genius


Very scary, indeed. The President of the United States has complete power to grant absolute pardons to ANYONE he chooses.

Exaggerated and Unlikely Example: A man kills Mitt Romney during the Presidential Debate, guaranteeing Obama’s victory. Barack Obama as President can grant an absolute pardon to the man who killed Mitt Romney, and the murderer MUST be released from custody and cannot be tried for that crime.

However, before we get too ahead of ourselves, it is important to realize that this pardon power can be very helpful to the country at times. For instance, when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon after his impeachment, he refocused the efforts of the nation on the important social and economic issues, rather than Nixon’s scandal which would have consumed Ford’s presidency and allowed him to get nothing done.

Image: President Gerald Ford grants an absolute pardon to Richard Nixon on television, 1974.

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