PARDON

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PARDON. In England, in all cases of crimes, except where there is an impeachment, a pardon from the crown may be granted before a trial, as well as after; and it stops further progress in the inquiry and prosecution at whatever time it is granted. In cases of impeachment, no pardon can now be granted by the king while the prosecution is pending; but after conviction of the offender, it may be granted, as in other cases. This is in virtue of the act of settlement of the crown, 12 and 13 William III, ch. 2. In America, the constitution provides that the president" shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the U. States, except in cases of impeachment." The senate has the whole power of trying impeachments. It is presumed, therefore, that an act of congress only can give the benefit of a pardon in cases of impeachments, if such power exists in any department of the government. By the same constitution, "judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the U. States." The party remains, nevertheless, liable to indictment and punishment for the offence, by the common law tribunals, as in other cases. Similar provisions exist generally in the state constitutions, or state laws, throughout the Union. In German jurisprudence, the word abolition is used to signify an act of mercy, on the part of the sovereign, releasing some one from a deserved punishment, without examination, or putting an end to a trial already commenced, before a judgment, determining the guilt or innocence of the accused, has been pronounced. This prerogative of the sovereign is limited, in several states, by the constitution, particularly in cases of public impeachment against officers of the state; for instance, in Wurtemberg. In 44 * Bavaria, abolition, after the trial has com menced, is, in all cases, unconstitutional. In several countries, the prince has the right of stopping a process already commenced, for an uncertain time, and keeping it undecided, which is called Sistirung. The king of Prussia availed himself of this arbitrary power but a few years ago, in the case of an action brought by a citizen against one of his officers for slander.