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Difference Between Commute and Pardon

To enhance behavior, shape economics, history, politics and the society at large, a system of rules and regulations have been created and is enforced through government institutions, commonly referred to as law. It enhances fairness, justice, and equality. While the law is spelled out, not all people adhere to it. Consequences to this include fines, probation or criminal sentencing, with many people serving jail sentencing for crimes committed. The law, however, gives the president power to commute or pardon. While many people may not differentiate between these, they differ in various ways.

 

What is Commute?

This refers to the act of partially or fully reducing an offender’s sentence term, often by deducting the time already served hence they can be released from prison. This does not eliminate federal conviction hence a person’s civil rights are not restored.  A commute may also include the release of any financial liabilities such as penalties imposed that are yet to be paid.

 

What is Pardon?

This is a government’s decision to grant clemency to a person who they feel have been wrongfully convicted and has served his sentence. Although it does not make one innocent of the crime convicted against, it restores civil rights to offenders such as the right to vote and run for office.  A pardon is however made the acceptance of committing the crime by the offender and good conduct from the conviction period to release.

 

Similarities between Commute and Pardon

  • Both are forms of clemency

 

Differences between Commute and Pardon

Definition

Commute refers to the act of partially or fully reducing an offender’s sentence term, often by deducting the time already served hence they can be released from prison. On the other hand, pardon refers to a government’s decision to grant clemency to a person who they feel have been wrongfully convicted and has served his sentence.

Civil rights

While commute does not eliminate federal conviction hence a person’s civil rights are not restored, pardon restores civil rights to offenders such as the right to vote and run for office.

Commute vs. Pardon: Comparison Table

 

Summary of Commute vs. Pardon

Commute refers to the act of partially or fully reducing an offender’s sentence term, often by deducting the time already served hence they can be released from prison. It does not restore a convict’s civil rights. On the other hand, pardon refers to a government’s decision to grant clemency to a person who they feel have been wrongfully convicted and has served his sentence and restores a convict’s civil rights. Both are, however, forms of clemency.

Tabitha Njogu

Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance. She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing.

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References :


[0]Smit Dirk. Life Imprisonment: A Global Human Rights Analysis. Harvard University Press, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ENtwDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA262&dq=Difference+between+commute+and+pardon&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjilbG5hPHlAhUs-YUKHVGHBrgQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20commute%20and%20pardon&f=false

[1]Wright R & Demleitner N.  Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes, and Guidelines. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Publishers, 2018. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=b_9JDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+commute+and+pardon&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjD_t3uhPHlAhUND2MBHTR3AMQ4FBDoAQhYMAY#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20commute%20and%20pardon&f=false

[2]Borelli M & Welch S. Understanding American Government. Cengage Learning, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=YAxkygQx5V4C&pg=PA266&dq=Difference+between+commute+and+pardon&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjilbG5hPHlAhUs-YUKHVGHBrgQ6AEISjAE#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20commute%20and%20pardon&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Executive_Grant_of_Clemency_for_Alice_Marie_Johnson.png

[4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/rechtsgrundlage-illegale-w%C3%A4hlen-sie-1143114/

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