What does “Executive Clemency” really mean in a republic? When a convict seeks and receives a pardon from his or her Monarch, it entails resubmitting to the Monarch’s rule and law. The President or Governor of a (small-R) republican state doesn’t occupy the same position in the constitution. Really, there’s nothing “executive” about pardons, amnesty, and commutations of sentence; they’re actually transcendant, “royal” one might say — cheapened by being arrogated to politicians to give their friends and supporters and donors a “get out of jail free” card for no good or just reason. It has less to do with admitting guilt and resubmitting to the Rule of Law, than with whom you know or how much you have. I’m not saying it never results in good in a republic, just that it — rightly — has a bad reputation here.