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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 ?
Passing sentence, judge Lady Rae told them: "All three of you are responsible for what was a merciless attack on Mr Hayat and all three of you are equally responsible for his death."
Strictest action must be taken against such merciless culprit and must be punished publically, so that we may completely eradicate such kind of disgraceful happenings.
He asked PTI government NAB and other institutions to launch merciless operation against corrupt elements of Sindh also so to fulfill the national coffers with looted money recovered from corrupt politicians instead of going to IMF.
"The current unilateral and reckless approach of the US government is dragging our world more and more into the merciless economic war which harms every player [at the global market]," Erdogan said in his article for the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
'I hope that speedy and merciless justice will be served on his killers,' he said in a statement.
"Had the government awarded exemplary punishments to the culprits of such cases, Zainab would not have been murdered in a merciless way," they said.
A KILLER was jailed for life yesterday for the "ferocious and merciless" murder of a neighbour he claimed was trying to take his daughter's tablet computer.
The United States and South Korea were threatened with "merciless ultra-precision strikes" by Kim Jong Un's North Korea Tuesday, prompting the countries' military chiefs to discuss appropriate "response options."
GUJRAT -- A merciless man allegedly murdered his minor daughter by throwing her in a canal and then faked her kidnapping in Gujrat district of Punjab, on Wednesday.
Then came the sentence that stated exactly how I thought about what I had just read: "The rigidly drawn borders, merciless in their judgment of the unworthy, kept people out."
PARyS (CyHAN)- French president Francois Hollande Friday night vowed that a "united France" will wage a "merciless" fight against terrorism.