The right and power of a sovereign, state president, or other supreme authority to commute a death sentence, to change the mode of execution, or to pardon an offender.
- The prerogative of mercy exists as a safety valve where the criminal trial and appeal system produces a result which the public interest cannot sustain.
- This was particularly dangerous for Middleton because it challenged the royal prerogative of mercy.
- Yet the people, like all sovereigns, had the prerogative of mercy, and on the eighteenth a reprieve was proposed.
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