Pardons are granted only at the end of a president's term, so goes the conventional wisdom. In reality, most presidents have hit the ground running. The best have made strategic use of this power from the start to advance their policy goals. If President Obama wants to use his pardon power as an instrument of government, he will need a reliable and independent system for administering it. He should decide what role pardon will play in his administration and direct the attorney general to implement it.
Reinvigorate the power
The National Law Journal
February 23, 2009
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