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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 ?
However badly we have been affected, there is always someone worse off, and if nothing else we should be thankful for small mercies.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that sounds a bit mad, but I need to be thankful for small mercies when things are already, well, pretty screwed.
HOWEVER distasteful you think Madonna's pursuit of Malawi orphan Mercy might be, at least it's keeping her away from the recording studio - so let's be thankful for small Mercies.