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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 ?
leniency policy can be found in the 2006 Leniency Notice, (136) which revised the program for a second time to ensure greater legal certainty and clarity and to bring the system more in line with U.S.
Baer further noted the department requires companies seeking leniency to have made investments in developing effective compliance programs, "including conducting a thorough internal investigation, providing detailed proffers of the reported conduct, producing foreign-located documents, preparing translations, and making witnesses available for interviews.
I don't regard the choice as being between severity and leniency but what will reduce future serious crime being committed.
BEIRUT: The much-awaited security plan in the Bekaa Valley will be strictly implemented and authorities will show no leniency with anyone wanted for suspected criminal activity, Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying Monday.
When Kelly was sentenced in December, many of the victims' families had urged the judge for leniency but others wanted him to feel the full force of the law.
Defending him, Christodoulou's lawyers cited his EOKA stint as legitimate grounds for leniency.
Within the last year, however, the Alaska Supreme Court has decided two cases that have rendered this policy of leniency in Alaska less clear.
But after the lamentable sentence for Terry, the FA is hardly in a position of strength when it comes to lectures on leniency.
"I would like to emphasize that there will be no leniency towards events that would prejudice the security of the homeland and the safety of citizens," Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said, according to a statement published by state news agency Kuna.
Would someone tell me why this thieving scumbag should be shown leniency. Thieving and anti social behaviour will never stop when soft sentences like this are handed out.
Global Banking News-August 17, 2012--Swiss banks handover employees to US, to seek leniency in tax evasion charges(C)2012 ENPublishing -
The second person said there could be at least two banks, besides Deutsche Bank, which have sought leniency under the European Commission's scheme to encourage whistleblowers.