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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 ?
"People in Pittsburgh have said to me, 'You Mercies talk about Catherine McAuley like she's coming to lunch,'" said Mercy Sr.
(9) When in Matthew the two blind men on the road to Jerusalem call out for mercy, Aquinas comments, "they ask for what is proper to God, namely to have mercy on us." And then Aquinas follows this with a verse from the Psalms that he cites frequently: "His tender mercies are over all his works" (Ps 144:9).