The President is given the pardon power for federal crimes under Art. II, section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”. Pardon petitions are addressed to the President but usually referred further to the Office of the Pardon Attorney for a non-binding recommendation. A symbolic use of this power is the annual pardoning of a turkey as part of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation.
Parole–the discretionary, provisional release of an inmate who agrees to abide by the terms of his or her early release–can be said to have its origins in antiquity, when soldiers defeated in battle pledged not to take up arms again in exchange for their release. Parole in the U.S. criminal justice system is a fairly recent invention, first introduced in 1876 in New York’s Elmira Reformatory.
Only one Justice of the Supreme Court has ever faced impeachment: Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was appointed by President George Washington and served from 1796 – 1811. In 1805, articles of impeachment were brought against him in … Continue reading
Meaning “you may have the body”, habeas corpus is a writ (officially known as habeas corpus ad subjiciendum) that requires a person tbe brought before a court to determine if their detention is lawful. The petitioner does not require standing in … Continue reading
The word scofflaw, while often thought to be of ancient origin, was actually created through a contest held in 1921. A wealthy banker in Quincy, MA sponsored a contest offering $200 to anyone who coined a word to describe people who violated … Continue reading
Under Massachusetts law, gift certificates must remain valid for a minimum of seven years. They are required to have an expiry and issuance date specified on them (or, in the case of electronic gift cards, this must be on the … Continue reading
Good Samaritan laws, often confused with duty to rescue laws, provide immunity against tort claims for those who attempt to rescue someone in peril. In general, however, these laws provide immunity if the peril was imminent, if the rescuer obtained consent, … Continue reading
In addition to the standard for-profit and limited-liability model of the traditional corporation, other variants exist. A public-benefit corporation is state-chartered and designed to perform some public benefit, such as the MBTA and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. A B Corporation is a corporation … Continue reading
While the word mayhem is often used in the context of describing chaos, confusion, rioting and disorder, that is neither its original meaning nor its legal definition. The etymology of mayhem has its roots in Anglo-Norman French, derived from Old … Continue reading