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Can the governor of Indiana issue preemptive pardons like the POTUS can?

If so,

  • what is the source of law that expressly confirms this, or at least leaves little doubt that this is within the governor's authority (e.g. judicial interpretation, statute, commentary etc.);
  • have there been any instances in the past of it happening; and
  • is the scope of such pardons limited in any way?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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    Are you asking for a friend? Jul 31, 2023 at 16:22
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    @VanitySlug-codidact.com No, I’m not. I appreciate you asking though. :) Aug 1, 2023 at 11:45

1 Answer 1

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The Indiana constitution is phrased differently to the US constitution in such a way to exclude pre-emptive pardons:

(Indiana) The Governor may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses except treason and cases of impeachment

(US constitution) he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

(my emphasis)

The Indiana constitution explicitly states that the Governor may grant pardons after conviction and does not give the Governor the power to grant pardons before conviction.

By contrast, the Supreme court has judged that the President may issue pardons after commission, that is after the offence has been committed, and potentially before the arrest, trial, conviction or punishment. They can't issue pardons for crimes not yet committed.

The scope of pardons issued by the Governor is limited; this power is subject to regulation by law issued by the Legislature, and (if there is no regulation giving sole power of pardon to the president) the Legislature may form a council to review pardons. The council's advice and consent must be sought. In fact, the Legislature appoints the Parole Board to this role. So the Parole Board gives advice and consent to pardons issued by the Governor.

In practice, therefore, the Parole Board makes these decisions, as Governors rarely refuse pardons recommended by the Board. Generally, though, pardons are rare, Mike Pence granted only three during his tenure as Governor.

References:

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    Interesting. Thank you for your contribution. I think your response pretty much answers my question perfectly. If I may ask, what states actually permit a pre-emptive pardon to be issued by their executive branch? Jul 31, 2023 at 15:10
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    @Tolga that would be its own post on the stack. I'm not sure the scope (all states) is too broad but you can surely ask in Meta if that's the case. Jul 31, 2023 at 15:36
  • You could probalby go through the information in the second link. It describes the pardon powers in each State in detail. I don't think I can be bothered to click through all fifty. In many states the power is effectively delegated to the parole board, or a clemency panel or similar.
    – James K
    Jul 31, 2023 at 22:10

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