Gfactor's presidential immunity column


Great column, as always, but there’s loads of broken non-link URLs in the middle of the text. To wit:

It’s a tad difficult to read. :frowning:

Sorry for the formatting stuff. I’m sure it will be fixed pretty soon. In the meantime, here are the links from the quoted paragraph, at least.,M1,M1

Nicely done, as always, Gfactor. Other than fixing the links, I’d suggest in the paragraph beginning “It’s clear that the pardon power…” that you either refer to “the President,” or add the particular president’s name after his title.

Also… I remember once reading a long law review article which cited a case in which a prisoner was given a pardon - maybe a commutation? - with post-release conditions (I believe by President Taft), but wished to decline it. The prisoner would rather have just done his time and been released with no strings attached. The court found, however, that you cannot turn down a pardon, even one with conditions you consider onerous.

I think that case has been cited in some of the threads on Burdick. IIRC it involves amnesty or commutation and not a pardon.

I’ll see what I can find when I get a chance.

I think you’re talking about this:

The case is: Biddle v. Perovich, 274 U.S. 480, 486 (1927):

I talked about some issues with the acceptance dictum in *Burdick *here: [post]9704476[/post]

Hmmm. That case does mention Taft, but… I don’t really think that’s the one I had in mind. If I’m remembering it right, the prisoner was to be released but had to obtain gainful employment, not pick up any new offenses, pay restitution, etc., and he didn’t wanna do that. The Biddle case is about commuting a death sentence to life imprisonment (not likely to be objected to by most prisoners, I suspect!).

It sounds familiar, but I haven’t been able to locate anything so far. In any case, it was certainly not a pardon case–and *Perovich * began a line of cases that limited the acceptance doctrine (to he extent there really is one) to full-on pardons. And conditions in pardons and commutations have been approved by the Court: See, Shick v. Reed, 419 U.S. 256 (1974): (summarizing the history of conditional pardons and commutations).

I have read and heard that Sec Rice, granted immunity to Blackwater and other companies operating in Iraq. Immunity from prosecution from the US and from Iraqi authorties.
Does she have any authority to do so?

I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but is there any more on this incident with Constant Polari? I found a couple other things from 19th century books on Google Books, but literally nothing else on the Internet. It sounds like an interesting story and I was curious to know more.

IIRC, I included the only linkable stuff I found in the article. But let me dig around through my notes. I’ll do that and report back.

Other stuff on The Jewels of the Princess of Orange:,M1,M1 (this has some good detail and quotations from correspondence),M1 (only skimmed this, but it looks pretty good)

These and the ones in the piece have the best detail.

OK, so if ever I was in a “24” situation, and was the bad guy with info, would the best course of action be to ask the president for immunity as well as all of the governors of each state?

Sure. Good luck getting all fifty of them (or however many would be affected by your nefarious scheme) to agree within the span of a day.

In “24” they get answers in minutes. Remember, each episode is one hour of the day, and they’re usually getting a signature minutes after the demand is made.

My question was about the legal aspect, not so much about writing a believable script for the show. So, pretend you did have information about certain, but not imminent doom, and you had time to get the attention, signatures, etc… would immunity from the president and the governors of all 50 states work?

Whether a gubernatorial grant of immunity would be effective is a question of state law in each state. For example, Michigan’s Governor recently claimed that she lacked authority to grant immunity to Kwame Kilpatrick so that he could testify in his removal case.

It’s not clear to me that the results would be the same in every state, but you’d need to check in every state, and you the matter might never have been addressed, so to some extent you’d be guessing. I’d still suggest demanding pardons instead.