Criminals, Volunteers, and Pardons

Are there any documented cases where condemned prisoners, or those serving life, were offered the chance at a pardon if they volunteered for an ultra-dangerous war mission (a la The Dirty Dozen).

[sub][sup]P.S. Thank God it’s back![/sup][/sub]

I just finished reading this book which reveals that not only was there was such a unit, but it was conceived of by the same man who would later create James Bond.

Not quite what you’re asking, but:

  1. There have been civilians who’ve avoided a prison sentence by enlisting in the military.

  2. There have been prisoners who have had their sentences reduced by volunteering as medical guinea pigs.

I believe in the Soviet Army in WWII there were “penal battalions” sent in as first wave attackers. It may be, though I don’t know for sure, that some of these had an option of that or execution. And I also don’t know whether there was any way out of the battalions other than death.

This thread was the 2nd in GQ when the boards came back on-line. With the deluge of threads that followed, it got bumped off the first page in a matter of minutes. So, I’d like to bump it just this once.

And, this site on Assault Unit 30 doesn’t help answer my question.