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View Full Version : Presidential pardons for...unidentified criminals?


Ranchoth
05-13-2005, 10:07 PM
A slightly, though not overly, unusual question...

In the United States, can the President grant a pardon to a criminal who hasn't actually been caught or identified? (Say...for the sake of argument, "Dan Cooper" aka "D.B. Cooper")

Wikipedia does say that someone doesn't have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to be pardoned (like Nixon), but it doesn't say if the person actually has to be identified.

I kind of get the feeling that you would need an I.D. for a pardon, but I thought I'd check, just to be sure.

hajario
05-13-2005, 11:10 PM
Didn't President Ford pardon all of the Viet Nam draft dodgers? That, or any other general amnesty, would meet your definition.

Haj

anson2995
05-13-2005, 11:52 PM
Didn't President Ford pardon all of the Viet Nam draft dodgers? That, or any other general amnesty, would meet your definition.

Sorta, but not exactly... it was an amnesty program, not a pardon per se.

according to this source: (http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/files/margylovepardonmemo_725.doc) (warning - link is to a doc file)

Professors Miller and Shanor have documented that “[a]t least a third of all United States presidents, including many of our greatest presidents, have used systematic pardons.” Some of these “systematic” pardons were self-executing amnesties, but many required case-by-case decisions. For example, after the Vietnam War, President Gerald Ford appointed a nine-person Presidential Clemency Board to review applications from between 100,000 and 300,000 draft law violators and deserters. President Ford’s program was modeled on President Harry Truman’s amnesty program for World War II draft law violators, who submitted applications for review to a three-person board. President Truman also issued pardons to pre-war convicts who had served in the armed forces, subject to review by a presidentially appointed board.