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Erickson Lecture on Legal History: "The problem with pardons" -Cynthia Brilliant Herrup

When: 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Where: Room 30
More Info: http://www.law.umn.edu/cle/13_14lectureseries.html
"The problem with pardons" -Cynthia Brilliant Herrup
John R. Hubbard Chair in British History and Professor of History and Law, University of Southern California

At the end of every presidency and many governorships, Americans fuss about pardons. Was it right for Bill Clinton to pardon financier Marc Rich in 2001? Should George Ryan have used pardons to clear Illinois' Death Row in 2003? More often than not, we see pardons as signs of unfair treatment, special privilege, and even legal ineptness. It is much easier to name scandals caused by pardons than injustices righted by them. But why? Pardons are meant to do good—to evoke charity and mercy, and to provide a necessary remedy to the sometimes too harsh rationality of the law. Our critiques of pardoning usually concentrate on the specifics of who gives pardons, who gets pardons, and how and why. In this lecture, Herrup will focus on fundamentals: is the problem with pardons intrinsic to the concept of pardoning itself? By looking at the history of pardons in the tumultuous world of 17th-century England, we can rethink why we have pardons and what we can reasonably expect from them.
Department: Dean's Office
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014


Julie Nelson