Date of Award:

8-2020

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Political Science

Committee

Josh M. Ryan

Committee

Robert E. Ross

Committee

Maria Angela Diaz

Abstract

The Constitution gives the president the power of clemency, the ability to forgive crimes and release individuals from prison. There are no checks on this power, giving the president unilateral power. Are there any factors that constrain this power or affect it? I claim that the electoral manner in which a president comes into office helps determine how they will use the power. Presidents coming into power with enthusiasm and confidence of the people will issue more clemency, while those who come into power with less will have decreased levels of clemency. Additionally, with more media outlets to scrutinize their every action, more recent presidents also issue less clemency.

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