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Goto next slide"Clemency"

When:

Lookups spiked on Merriam-Webster.com on September 20, 2011.

Why:

In a case that was followed around the world, Georgia's pardon and parole board "denied clemency" to Troy Davis, a death row inmate who was executed on September 21, 2011.

Clemency means "merciful treatment of someone who could be given harsh punishment." It comes from the Latin word that means "mild" or "gentle."

Photo: mouserz / flickr