Pardons may be unpopular, but legal

U.S. Presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump have used Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

For crimes against the U.S. except for impeachment cases, this provision gives the President the power to grant:

• Commutations (reduced prison time)

• Pardons (allow a convicted person to be set free and cleared of that conviction)

• Reprieve (postponing the enforcement of a criminal punishment) During 1974, the most controversial act happened when President Gerald Ford pardoned President Richard M. Nixon for his role in the Watergate Scandal.

President Nixon resigned before impeachment proceedings to remove him from office began.

During January 2017, President Barack Obama commuted a 35-year prison sentence given to convicted ex-U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning for leaking national security information to WikiLeaks.

A few days ago, President Trump issued a pardon to ex-Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for being convicted of contempt of court.

Some of these commutations, pardons and reprieves might be very controversial and unpopular but still legal under this provision of the U.S. Constitution.

Silvestre Moreno Mercedes