Definition of Pocket Pardon

What does the term "pocket pardon" mean in the world of politics? What is meant by a "pocket pardon"?

The desk of the President of United States - Pocket PardonA "pocket pardon" is also known as a "secret pardon".

When Presidents issue pardons, there are no explicit instructions in the Constitution stating that they need to publicize the names of the people that they are pardoning.

So, in theory, a President could issue "secret pardons" that would only surface if:

1) The person that is pardoned is charged with a federal crime in the future

2) The President, or a future President, decides to make the pardons public

So, in theory, a President could issue a "pocket pardon" to anybody, including himself.

This has never been done before (that anybody knows of), and scholars have been debating the legality of the "pocket pardon".

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