Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Pardon, the releasing of a person from the punishment he has incurred for some offence. In this country, as in most others, the prerogative of pardoning is vested in the sovereign. A pardon may be granted either before or during a prosecution, when it may be pleaded in bar, or after conviction, in which case it may be pleaded in arrest of judgment or in bar of execution, so that the offender is discharged from punishment. Some offences, however, cannot be pardoned; for instance, a common nuisance while it remains unredressed; and a pardon cannot be pleaded to a parliamentary impeachment. A pardon is granted by warrant under the Great Seal or under the sign manual. It may be free or conditional - that is, the Crown may annex to it a condition on the performance of which the pardon will depend. The effect of the pardon is to make the offender a new man, to acquit him of all corporal penalties and forfeitures annexed to the offence pardoned, and not so much to restore his former as to give him new credit and capacity.