commute

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commute

to reduce (a sentence) to one less severe.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO COMMUTE. To substitute one punishment in the place of another. For example, if a man be sentenced to be hung, the executive may, in some states, commute his punishment to that of imprisonment.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.