« Stuff You Missed in History Class

How Presidential Pardons Work

2008-10-13 | 🔗

The U.S. Constitution grants several powers to the President, including the ability to pardon anyone for several types of crime. Learn about the origins of pardons in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
loser episode is brought to you by maloney cookies work sometimes that longs in yoga classes just now in the cards so maybe a cookie is peppered farm olano believes you should make some time for yourself once in a while i know i have a particular space in my sewing room that i like to just take a few minutes every day i sit there i think about things it's kind of like meditation and munching at the same time being it that yummy beautiful cookie flavour it makes it luxurious and delightful and i always feel recharge mulatto cookies are truly a treat worthy of your me time their delicate and crispy with luxuriously rich chocolate in the middle you really want to keep these just for you so remember to save something for yourself with peppered farm olano available now from iheart a new series presented by t mobile for business the restless ones join me jonathan strickland as i explore the
coming technological revolution would be restless business leaders who stand right on the cutting edge they know is a better way to get things done and they are ready curious excited for the next technological innovation to unlock their vision of the future in each episode will learn more from the restless ones themselves and dive deep into how the fuck gee revolution could enable their teams to thrive the restless ones available and i heard radio up or what were you listen to broadcasts welcome to stuff you missed in history class from housetop works dot com
how can the past i'm editor candies kept enjoying i satisfied her charge choir hydride hiking on a pardon year no actually i was trying to laugh jerry notices here she she went three to what is coming to the producer jerry just did that we love her yes i can already young and don't make the heart symbol come i was reading a pardon watch we heard it is i had neither actually i was actually preparing for this podcast because i that i was needing to hydrate my skin a little more which means thing it's getting to be pardoned season yeah apparently pardons come hardened asked most in the year late for early winner presents files
i'm really yeah well that's when they come the most traditionally i mean a president can offer a pardon any time of the year we usually there done in the fall and the most come at the end of a presidency turn like you said right to me you know its october you're walking through bloomingdale's the christmas trees rob and yours about you had a season of forgiveness actually turn away suspected that does have a little something to do with it to tell you the truth so i was trying to figure out who george bush might forgive her offer the season of forgiveness to this year me why house dont know if nothing was around this list this assertion empty we'll blog which again hidden her until i started googling a pardon predictions which is my favorite things to do not less
they had some pretty good ones on there there were some that were were fairly obvious one for carl rove which we just cannot be a blanket pardon for anything he might be convicted of in the future scooter livy was one although without any part an owner of we'll get into their wisdom is a great example because he is a good example of what can can't be done guns alice obviously rumsfeld was in addition somebody posted a comma instead rumsfeld not abraham off and the reason that the person who predicted dumb of whether or not he these people would be pardoned said because avram offers a snitch so didn't think data that george bush will play ball with em off but they do think he'll play ball with roger climate yeah maybe they were seriously so that they think clemens may get a pardon from bush because pushes the baseball guy he's to be the year i think that
the managing owner of the texas rangers for awhile did you know that i didn't i faced me so on this is these are just a few people who we may see get pardons in the future and a funny thing i don't know if it's funny but a funny in that it it's kind of strange there's a lot of moving pieces to pardon and on it simple level it's when president excuses one for an affront to the united states its never for a low pull crime a state crime anything like that it has to be to united states as a whole and you can apply for a pardon apparently like they get applications for pardons and and in eighty there was even opposition formed for someone who would review the pardons and research the person and see if he or she than an upstairs set aside until this point and help inform the president about whether or not this person deserved a pardon and a pardon is it is growing exclusively by the president
it's something that congress can't override i it is actually in go to section to the constitution and that wasn't an amendment now and written the constitution here is what it says the presidential have the power to grant reprieved and pardons for offences against the united states accept and here's the big except in cases of impeachment and without checks and balances here too the president himself or herself can be impeached here he cannot pardoned someone who's impeached doesn't make sense yeah it does is actually the congress and come up with the impeachment part the whole thing goes back to english common law prerogative english kings yes the english kings originally had the power to pardon anybody anything at any time no questions asked really somebody from jail they can keep their head off the chopping block finally i think in the seventeenth and eighteenth century parliament was a
the financial their way in making that one imposition that you go a pardon doesn't have any effect on on an active impeachment that happened during king charles the seconds rain and this was a model for the framers of the constitution and it really split the fur farmers and hoss ino ideologically because some of them thought that america was based on the principle of being a friend from a monarchy another president shouldn't have the sort of power alike king and george maize and was one of the staunch opponents on the other hand and your hamilton was one of the staunch advocates embarrassment i wasn't better the hamilton was just you know some wacky to all future presidents he had a really good reason and in he argued in the federalists papers number seventy four i any says that it's a great idea to have pardoned because that power could actually be used to well rebellion insurrection on a map
the scale by any event of a national crisis and ironically enough just after one and came into power i think and seventeen for he had to issue a presidential pardon to farmers had been a part of the instruction whiskey rebellion and there is a huge tax levied on corn crops and these four revolted against this tax and basic it was a rebellion there they were armed and they were not happy at all and why ten basically negotiated an endless rebellion by saying look you guys go back to your farms will talk about the text and i'm not entirely certain what happened with the tax but if you guys in your arms and go back to life as farmers will forget this whole thing happened any did it by issuing a pardon and it worked as well and that turns me on my site got a conditional pardon and that's when you agree a pardon someone but you get something in return and
we someone actually falls under the more general blanket of clemency there's a couple of different pieces to this as well so we ve got commutation a pardon conditional pardon remission and respite mutation is what george bush did for scooter levy which is why he would still be eligible for pardon commutation his clique shortening a sentence doing away fine there there any sentence has been levied against you so long as it was levied by a federal court can be commuted oh i see you in jail offered you yourself ten years and the president commuter sentenced to five to serve of yours and then after that you're out and this also happen in the case of patty hearst as well back nineteenth this is the grand daughter of the publishing magnates william her and she got caught up with called and supposedly was brainwashing convinced to go and i condemn this huge bank robbery and her
was commuter bigamy carter i think what does she serve like too ten years or seven of ten years that i believe so sir you carter commuted her sentence and then later on he talk to president clinton into issuing a full pardon which he did so yeah petty the pretty famous example there there's so that was also a commutation and pardon the big distinction between a computational pardon is if a sentence commuted you may be release from prison or something like that but we still had out i'm right as if somebody looks up your records they find that you are a convicted fell in with a pardon it basically restores you to this day grace that you enjoyed right for you committed that crime which means you convey you can turn on jerry do they can own afar economic firearm full five citizens your civil abilities are restored feminist degreaser and foot there goes actually a guy the bush pardoned in two thousand seven who
been running a as some sort of big gambling outfit and the feds broke it up on superbowl sunday ninety ninety seven or something like that and he was issued a pardon and he said in the end in our view the reason he saw a pardons conceded manas grandkids did know that he'd been phelan so now if they ever got their granddad it won't come off unless they happened to pull up this washington hosts to hurry and they say i'm kinda was phelan mahabharata so let's break down the other types and the conditional pardon me touched on that that's when the president issues apart but ass for something in return for example would be teddy roosevelt when he pardoned on the philippines for an uprising he said will forgive year for europe the two united states but you have to swear regions and loyalty and this is back in the philippines where u s territory right
that begins knows well what are we doing down there swedes other going what are you tired okay so now we have remission and this is my up is released from some sort of legal obligation like a fine yes it is specifically a fine yes and then the lifeline respite yet this is temporary it can last for like a month or two and could be used to say to taken were intensive investigation maybe others it there's a good person who love are a good example i should say as somebody who deserves respite troy davis yeah very recent news story near here let's be executed in atlanta here was accused of shooting a cab many many years ago and apparently over the years ninety percent of the witnesses or some me in some huge percentage of the eye witnesses recanted their testimony
different versions each time apparently a guy who was their head allegedly confess to being the one shot at the cop so he was on death row in they just recently he was granted respite i believe he is within hours of his execution time yeah yeah ansel raspberry something buys time might decide said that you can research and decide whether or not a pardon is merited saluted does different kinds of part yeah and if you are still with us after all of that weaker wake up here's org did you say it a couple of weeks ago another pod cast about i whether or not the electoral college decides the vote more if we decide to vote and this is a hot but an issue because some people say that we should amend the constitution to disband the draw cars and let the people decide well
congress has also a couple of times thought about introducing bills to overturn the presidential pardon and because has written to the constitution can be along and sticky pathos but so far it known these bells of made it through to certain stages in the members held water bites because the government has three different branches we legislative judicial and executive and because only the president had of the executive branch can issue pardons there's some funny business going on with the executive branch and someone's call to testify before congress the person you now can choose to waffle back and forth are not really testify or not show up suppose it lay until tat came in and fix that yet this is weird unless let's get to affect your fiction part is a factor fix but there's nothing anybody can do about a presidential pardon that's easy fiction
someone so what can be done okay so like your surprise you know as well as idea what's going on at least in say things remember for clearing out i'm tired came and essentially he was the one who said you can't pardoned someone who's in contempt so that the czech and balance there if something's happening with the executive branch of witnesses com and testify they're bound constitutionally to testify before congress and if they don't their heart and contempt and the president also the executive branch cannot pardon that person now and also because this risk out of the clarification that pardons could on be used for france to the federal government so congress i guess it was argued is kind of exempt from that so it can be an affront to congress
contempt being held in contempt by congress outside of that that pardon power yeah actually you know that congress actually has a little jailhouse behind thea each of them each of the chamber's meda is aware can if your helen contempt they can take you write off the floor and hold you indefinitely against your will be imprisoned by the members of congress until you're ready to talk even wearing united rocks patterson exactly how to best no more worrying nathan's leave you at your deal and so if congress hold you in content all of a sudden you may be compelled to testify against a crook president or something like that so either the when it came to say about this i'm just gonna great europe right now and there's nothing there
do about it actually they can't they can hold you in contempt for not testifying and then you're in big trouble so this was a big check imbalance that actually like you said william howard taft elucidated as the chief justice of the supreme court as i run it is it tat had been present in eleven years before any basically rule against this power of the present a year and i think that's a pretty smart move and who better than taft who had been president to suggest us because he knew how powerful the president can be so civil cell so so you gotta see this contempt clause basically taken our added to the the understanding of impeachment that's why we're seeing today with the whole attorney general firing scandal going on you're not seeing pardons being issued hard
fast you're seeing on executive privilege cited actually which that's that's pretty much the reason why well when it comes to pardons it's interesting to look at here is granted the merest whose granted the leaf agreed dinner who granted the most and eva the article i do after your yeah and it with a being three thousand six hundred eighty seven in mind he did serve three times he did but there was still a thousand pardons more the next highest guy and pretty recently clinton granite four hundred fifty nine and he served to term he had some scandalous pardons he pardon mark rich who was the ex husband of one of his big donors denise rich for tax evasion to the tune of fifty million bucks he was very much criticized for that he was also criticized for pardoning his own brother roger you know that yeah roger been convicted of cocaine
fusion in the eightys the thing is an inn clinton in president clinton's defence roger served his full term paid off fines and had been out of prison in like living a normal life for many many years by the time he was actually pardon and that's early customary when you're pardoned computations are very rare winds levies sentence was treated before he even served a single can in jail lot of the analysis of the end in people did some research and found that that is not common thing at all pardons usually come at some point years after the cry after the sentence has been carried out and fines of unpaid restitution has been and the person's tried to serving early an exemplary life since then that kind of thing one of the reasons for that is that even if there is one thing that we can do about presidential pardon we can certainly vote i definitely and because we have freedom of the press in we can quickly disseminate that anger toward the present
so especially now where their office is created to research who deserves pardons there's plenty of information available on we should get it shouldn't get it we all know the president knows and again can't be returned but he can be reamed publicly for he can be both you know if you think about it america these days we don't burner things in gee you know higher is isn't stoked easily enough isn't like poland or anything like that you know where you live government does something the irc everybody they're gonna no in the streets pretty quick and now when i drive towards defining an yesterday i saw a little old lady walking around at the scene which port on that on said something to the tune of i don't know taxes blah blah while clearly made a real impact is writing so fast i can really tavis you with bending her iron's lie on another thing about
we should mention aside from public ire as that and i don't think this happens very frequently but a pardon is an official if the person being pardoned doesn't except at other that used to be the rule like you the green tea the person being pardoned had to say on great thing want this and then i think it was coolidge kelvin coolidge ok i can only support is basically there was a guy yes this is the real before cool and then coolidge pardon a guy who didn't leave jail and coolidge thrown out he told the warden to lock the door behind him and the guy thirdly jail whether we like it or not clearly been institutionalized her the food was really good in the jail he'd been in but that cannot alter the rule little bed nets canna how pardons have existed and justified on croatia's because i dont think people now how cool college really wise i love this man who is really a very powerful man a few words are number when he was a fairy
action at all remember like i was there and for the first time but apparently you is pretty popular and people to run again and he took the stage for this big speech people thought maybe he would announce he was running again people thought maybe you'd offer some sort of grand good bye he approaches the mike and he says i choose not to run for reelection exit saved left over it's cool customer indeed that coolidge customer anyway that's it can't say one last thing of course little pardon scandal tibet you know lincoln that he actually he pardoned a guy who was convicted of attempted based reality and his defenceless he's such a stand up guy in all other aspects of his character and end that he'd been drunk and during the time in question so he was
by abraham lincoln aircraft wasted i dont get away with guys guys anyway if you want to learn even more about presidential pardon please read how presidential pardon worth that works dot com for more on this and thousands of other topics that how stuff works dot com what is no what you think send an email to podcast at housetop work this is danny shapiro post of the hit cast family secrets i hope you'll join us for some incredible conversations about family identity and what happens to both when the secrets that have been kept from us and the secret
keep finally come to light listen and subscribe annie i aren't radio up apple pie cast or ever you listen to your favorite pie guests i love sports and i love my wife i will destroy you we haven't even started yet have you the tape a fan who loves you debate jordan versus leubronn lamp oversee soldier field or even the sand lot verses major league you will love listening to our past the greatest we have some of our favorite comedian friendless liberties to come and constructively are do everything within the world of sport with my canadian and sports frenetic life megan gaily and my hilarious writer and comedian husband see j till it on out to listen and follow the greatest i her radio apple pie curse or wherever you listen to punch
Transcript generated on 2020-02-07.