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In law, release from guilt or remission of punishment. The power to pardon is generally exercised by the state's chief executive officer. A pardon may be full or conditional. A conditional pardon imposes a lesser punishment or some other obligation. Some states still bar pardoned offenders from holding public office or obtaining professional licenses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pardon, visit Britannica.com.