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a prerogative power exercised by the Home Secretary to allow a sentence to be commuted, remitted or suspended.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The sentence of the law is, that you, Abel Hill, be taken hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence, Thursday the 27th of July, to a place execution, and that you be hung by the neck till you are dead and that your body, when taken down, dissected and anatomised; and may God, in his infinite mercy, have mercy upon your soul."
Please, our Father God of Mercy, have mercy upon our generation that is weak, and remove this difficult test from these people, these immoral antagonists that by their doing will multiply, God forbid, the excruciating tests and the sight of the impurity and immorality that is growing in the world.
Like a slave looking to the master, "have mercy upon us," prays a people worn down by the scorn, the contempt of "those who are at ease," "the proud" they are called in this song of lament.
In Paul's ardent soul, this hymn echoes the principle he had just stated and which is in a way the central theme of the whole Epistle: "For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all" (Rom 11:32).
And the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter." [At-Tirmithi] Abu Barzah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said: "Man's feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how he had spent it ..." [At-Tirmithi] 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez, may Allah have mercy upon him, was told one day about something he wanted to do: "Delay this until tomorrow" He, replied: "Woe to you!
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: Hoping for the reward of Allah is one of the most supreme and honorable ranks of one who pursues the right path.
Do I not have any rights over you?' He, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: 'Indeed you do, but I was so overwhelmed that I did not realise that the night had finished.' She asked: 'What was it that preoccupied your mind all night long?' He, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: 'I was thinking about the pleasures of Paradise and its description until I heard the call for the Fajr prayer.'" Is'haaq ibn Ibraheem At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "I never saw anyone fearing for himself the punishment (of the Hereafter) or having the hope of being amongst those who would be rewarded more than Al-Fudhayl, may Allah have mercy upon him.
The Hadeeth which you mentioned in the question is also reported by Ad-Draqutni, may Allh have mercy upon him.
Imaam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy upon him, narrated: "Jibreel used to repeat the recitation of the Qur'an with the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, once a year (in Ramadan) but he repeated it with him twice in the year he died." The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, used to stay in I'tikaaf (seclusion in the Masjid for the purpose of worship) for ten days every year (during Ramadan) but in the year of his death, he stayed in I'tikaaf for 20 days." Manisfestation of Mercy Ramadan is the month of mercy.

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