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Related to be grateful for small mercies: Thank God for Small Favors
See: benevolence, clemency, condonation, consideration, humanity, lenience, pity, tolerance, understanding


a prerogative power exercised by the Home Secretary to allow a sentence to be commuted, remitted or suspended.

MERCY, Practice. To be in mercy, signifies to be liable to punishment at the discretion of the judge.

MERCY, crim. law. The total or partial remission of a punishment to which a convict is subject. When the whole punishment is remitted, it is called a pardon; (q.v.) when only a part of the punishment is remitted, it is frequently a conditional pardon; or before sentence, it is called clemency or mercy. Vide Rutherf. Inst. 224; 1 Kent, Com. 265; 3 Story, Const. Sec. 1488.

References in periodicals archive ?
But perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies.
SFA chief David Taylor has backed Berti Vogts to stay on as Scotland boss - and claimed the Tartan Army should be grateful for small mercies.
In April 2000 a machine actually fell on a house quite near us, so be grateful for small mercies in Grangetown.