Executive Clemency Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Executive Clemency.

Executive Clemency (noun): This term refers to the power held by a governmental executive, such as the President for federal cases or a Governor for state cases, to pardon a person convicted of a crime, shorten their sentence (known as commuting the sentence), or reduce a death sentence to a lesser punishment. The reasons for granting executive clemency can vary, but might include doubts about the convicted person's guilt, a notably harsh sentence, humanitarian concerns (for example, if the person is old or sick), to clean the record of someone who has shown reform or contributed to public service, or personal or political association with the executive.