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A pardon is a decision that absolves a convicted person of a criminal conviction. A pardon may be full or partial:[1]

  • A full pardon removes all of the consequences of conviction.
  • A partial pardon does not fully absolve a person of the conviction. For example, a partial pardon may not set aside a finding of guilt, or may not fully restore the rights of the person who received the pardon.

Pardons are sometimes given to people who are wrongly convicted. In that case, the person is cleared of that conviction, as if never convicted.[2]

The practice varies greatly between countries. In the United States a pardon for a federal conviction may be granted by the President,[3] while pardons for state convictions may be granted by state governors.[3][4]

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