Should a citizen be able to refuse a pardon from the President of the United States?

In 1830, George Wilson was sentenced to death for robbing and murdering a U.S. mail carrier. Andrew Jackson extended a presidential pardon to try and rescue George Wilson from his sentence. Rather than accepting, however, Wilson decided to reject the pardon. Shocking the nation, the case went to the United States Supreme Court to try and determine if Wilson was legally able to reject a pardon from the President. The Supreme Court ruled that Wilson was able to reject the pardon.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, was recently convicted of eight federal charges. These charges include tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and making false financial statements. After news of the conviction came out, President Trump tweeted that he would consider extending a presidential pardon to Cohen. In a surprising turn of events, Cohen’s lawyer has stated that Cohen would not consider accepting a pardon, bringing back memories of United States v. George Wilson.

While some believe the Supreme Court is correct in saying that individuals should have the ability to turn down presidential pardons, others think that is an option that should not be available. What do you think? Should a citizen be able to refuse a pardon from the president of the United States?

Current Standings:
Yes: 90%
No: 10%
  • Jake from Virginia

    If you were denied the right to decline a presidential pardon that would be taking away from your basic rights and freedoms. Just because it is a gesture from the president does not mean it should be undeniable

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    If you were denied the right to decline a presidential pardon that would be taking away from your basic rights and freedoms. Just because it is a gest…

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    3
  • Kudra from Michigan

    A president is not a king, so his word is not rule. If we are to respect the integrity of our current government, it is the right of the people to make decisions for themselves, regardless of the higher power, within reason. There are laws set in place, by the people, that determine their limitations and their freedoms, so whatever the president may decide, it is ultimately up to the people, in accordance to the law, to make the final decision. If a person does not wish to accept a pardon, they are doing so at their own risk, which is entirely permittable. Though this outcome is not ideal for the person refusing the pardon, it is their choice, and we must respect it as long as it doesn’t negatively effect others or break any laws. We’re not here to force people into our ideal futures; if they wish to accept the consequences of their actions despite an offer of forgiveness, it is their right to make that decision.

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    A president is not a king, so his word is not rule. If we are to respect the integrity of our current government, it is the right of the people to mak…

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    3
  • Madison from Georgia

    By accepting partisan, many are automatically viewed as guilty. Therefore, by willingly going through trial, they show their pride in their innocence.

    1
  • evan from Kansas

    if you took that right away that would be taking away basic rights

    1
  • Bradon from Kansas

    Yes. Under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, it states that the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment…”. Therefore, the president can offer a pardon, but the person does have the right to refuse a pardon from the president.

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    Yes. Under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, it states that the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for …

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    1
  • Henry from Kentucky

    People are able to make their own decisions about their life in the United States, and this is a big decision in someone’s life and although they broke the law, they should be able to accept the punishment depending on their beliefs

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    People are able to make their own decisions about their life in the United States, and this is a big decision in someone’s life and although they brok…

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    0
  • Sydney from Kentucky

    A citizen should be able to refuse a pardon from the president because according to Article II section II the president “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment…”, therefore he has the power to grant a pardon, but it isn’t stated the recipient has to accept. The president isn’t supposed to act as a tyrant, and his word isn’t the ultimate law, citizens still have certain rights. In some situations the person the president wants to pardon may know they are guilty, and feel remorse for their offense, and decline the pardon on moral values. In another situation the person in question may know they aren’t guilty, and feel confident that they can prove their innocence in a court of law, and feel if they accept the pardon they automatically look guilty.

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    A citizen should be able to refuse a pardon from the president because according to Article II section II the president “shall have power to grant r…

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    0
  • Sonya from Florida

    Most definitely! People should have the right to make their own decisions, and I believe that being forced to accept a presidential pardon could affect somebody’s conscience. Somebody may decline the pardon because if they took the pardon knowing they did something wrong, it would haunt them and they would never be able to move on. Also, they know the consequences of not accepting the pardon, so they are doing so even knowing what will happen to them. They are doing so under their own discretion. Also, what the president says is not the be all end all. What he says isn’t what has to happen, per say.

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    Most definitely! People should have the right to make their own decisions, and I believe that being forced to accept a presidential pardon could affec…

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    0
  • Ericka Lorraine from Texas

    The right to decline a presidential pardon is basically the same as refusing an offer in your everyday life. It affects you and only you, so you yourself should be free to make your own decisions about your life.

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    The right to decline a presidential pardon is basically the same as refusing an offer in your everyday life. It affects you and only you, so you yours…

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    0
  • Joshua from Georgia

    People should be able to decline it because it is their choice and they may not be able to assimilate to life if they have been away for too long.

    0
  • Julia from Idaho

    Yes, they should have the choice.

    0
  • Aden from Illinois

    A president cannot force upon a person something, this is why Checks and Balances were put in place. We almost screwed up back in Vietnam when we gave the president power the military and pursue any sort of countermeasure deemed necessary by whoever was in office. This was the Tonkin Resolution as most of you know, and this was later revoked due to the nature of it disrupting Checks and Balances. It is the same case here. Allowing this would demonstrate a lot of power that would be given to a president. A president isn’t a dictator, nor are they an oligarch or monarch. Meaning they don’t have the same “force of will” as other rulers, and those limitations must be clearly established. And Cohen forcefully accepting a pardon is a disturbance to that. So I agree, a president cannot force a citizen to accept a pardon.

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    A president cannot force upon a person something, this is why Checks and Balances were put in place. We almost screwed up back in Vietnam when we gave…

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    0
  • Jose from Massachusetts

    Yes a person should be able to reject a pardon from the president since its their choice if they really wanna get out or not.

    0
  • evan from Kansas

    he should be able to because he has a choice to reject nobody should be made to accept a pardon from the president just because its the president.

    0
  • Nicole from Virginia

    I think you you should be able to reject a Presidential pardon. It would be repressive of our first amendment right to disallow someone to say no. Just because it comes from the Commander in Chief doesn’t mean it’s an obligatory thing. Whatever the reason for refusing the pardon it should be allowed. If the person wants to take responsibility for their actions there should be no pressure to accept a pardon.

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    I think you you should be able to reject a Presidential pardon. It would be repressive of our first amendment right to disallow someone to say no. Jus…

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    0
  • Sara from Virginia

    Even though the president is at a high power, it doesn’t mean he can rule and strip people away from their rights. It is up to the person receiving the pardon to either accept it or deny it. Every citizen in America has natural rights, and if they have to accept a presidential pardon no matter what, they are being denied their freedom to choose. They may not want the pardon to begin with, so they should be able to make their own choice without being forced.

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    Even though the president is at a high power, it doesn’t mean he can rule and strip people away from their rights. It is up to the person receiving th…

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    0
  • Nori from Virginia

    I think a person should be able to reject a pardon from the President of the United States because that person may feel like it is only right to serve the amount of time they were sentenced to. Just like a citizen has the ability to reject a trial and plea guilty/no contest. If the government decided that anyone who got granted a pardon had to accept, it would go against the idea of individual freedom to make one’s own choices, while that freedom is not a right, I feel it should be respected. As a result, I believe that no person should have to accept a pardon if they do not want to, administration aside, I think it should be their choice.

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    I think a person should be able to reject a pardon from the President of the United States because that person may feel like it is only right to serve…

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    0
  • Savanna from Virginia

    I voted yes because I feel that anyone has the right to reject a presidential pardon, even if it does come from the president. Anyone has the right to determine how they want to live his or her life. Everyone has access to basic rights, as you have them once you are born.

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    I voted yes because I feel that anyone has the right to reject a presidential pardon, even if it does come from the president. Anyone has the right to…

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    0
  • Noah from Virginia

    I do think that people should be able to refuse presidential pardon because I feel that people have the right to do so. It is kind of like taking away a right for people to be able to choose. Also what if the person who is getting pardoned does not like the president? He/she should be able to make their own decision.

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    I do think that people should be able to refuse presidential pardon because I feel that people have the right to do so. It is kind of like taking away…

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    0
  • Ruchi from Virginia

    A person should be able to reject a pardon because while it’s great that the president considered giving a pardon, it doesn’t necessarily mean the person receiving it wants it. Furthermore, the president’s power isn’t unlimited so his word shouldn’t be the one and only say in a particular matter.

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    A person should be able to reject a pardon because while it’s great that the president considered giving a pardon, it doesn’t necessarily mean the per…

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    0
  • Kevin from Virginia

    Receiving a pardon from the president is a big deal. However, a pardon should not force someone to accept it, its up to them if they want the pardon or not. A big American value is the freedom of choice, so why should a pardon be exempt from people’s right to chose, It’s just like saying yes or no to someone asking if you’d like to leave a restaurant, or party, or game, etc.

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    Receiving a pardon from the president is a big deal. However, a pardon should not force someone to accept it, its up to them if they want the pardon o…

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    0
  • Megan from Virginia

    If a person feels guilty about committing a crime, they should be able to refuse a pardon and pay the consequences of their actions. Whether it be due to to their beliefs or to clear their conscience, a citizen should have the right to accept a punishment.

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    If a person feels guilty about committing a crime, they should be able to refuse a pardon and pay the consequences of their actions. Whether it be due…

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    0
  • Brandon from Virginia

    People should be allowed to refuse a pardon. The U.S. was built on the basis that people should be free from tyrannical rule with a king who would force his punishments onto anyone. Although a pardon is not necessarily a punishment, not being allowed to refuse a pardon infringes on the basis of which the U.S. was built on.

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    People should be allowed to refuse a pardon. The U.S. was built on the basis that people should be free from tyrannical rule with a king who would for…

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    0
  • Freya from Virginia

    A person should be able to reject a pardon because no one has to accept anything they do not want or don’t feel like they need. As a citizen of the United States you have rights and freedoms, within the law, that can not be taken away. That being said, the government can not take away the right of someone else to reject a pardon and force it upon them. If a pardon was forced upon someone it would violate our rights as citizens and go against the constitution and democracy itself. Though the president can approve and veto laws, they can not execute something they believe should be done right away as it takes time.

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    A person should be able to reject a pardon because no one has to accept anything they do not want or don’t feel like they need. As a citizen of the Un…

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    0
  • Lara from Virginia

    Yes I do think a person should be able to reject a pardon from the president. As a United States citizen, we all have many types of freedoms, and rejecting a pardon can be counted as one. Also, maybe the person that committed the illegal action, possibly feel bad for what they did and would want to punish themselves.

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    Yes I do think a person should be able to reject a pardon from the president. As a United States citizen, we all have many types of freedoms, and reje…

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    0
  • Leah from Virginia

    Anyone, even after committing crimes, has the right to state how they feel they should spend their time or what they choice to agree with, whether or not its heard. When it comes to the pardon, the person should be able to decide what they want to invest themselves in and if furthering the use of their name in the news is the right decision. Maybe some culprits may feel they don’t deserve a pardon to begin with, whatever the reason is, is up to them.

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    Anyone, even after committing crimes, has the right to state how they feel they should spend their time or what they choice to agree with, whether or …

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    0
  • Kristina from Virginia

    I believe a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon because in the case of a criminal sentencing, if the citizen knows that they’re guilty and is willing to accept the punishment, they should be able to refuse a pardon. It’s fair in the end because it’s not singling out a person, giving them the “get out of jail free” card. It’s part of a U.S. citizen’s freedom to deny a pardon.

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    I believe a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon because in the case of a criminal sentencing, if the citizen knows that they’re guilty and is wi…

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    0
  • Taher from Virginia

    Yes, a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon. Why I think this is because America is free country, and so citizens should be able to reject a pardon. They may feel that what they’ve done was wrong and so they may want to face their punishment because it is fair. People should respect their decision and if they do decline the pardon, they are doing it at their own risk. There is no law that states that a citizen has to accept a presidential pardon, so people can choose whether or not to accept it.

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    Yes, a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon. Why I think this is because America is free country, and so citizens should be able to …

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    0
  • Livie from Minnesota

    As a citizen of the U.S. we are given a lot of freedom, and one of those should be to have the option of declining a pardon. A citizen refusing a pardon from the President will have spent a lot of time weighing the consequences, even placing their political views on the table. A pardon from a President who has public outcry daily, may seem worse to those choosing than it would be to go to jail and face consequences of their actions. Citizens should be afforded the right to decide to face up for their crimes, and deny a pardon if they so choose, as they may feel wrong being pardoned and not receiving due punishment for their crimes.

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    As a citizen of the U.S. we are given a lot of freedom, and one of those should be to have the option of declining a pardon. A citizen refusing a pard…

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    0
  • april from Kansas

    Why do I think citizens should be able to refuse a presidential pardon is because maybe they feel bad for what they did and want the consequence for what crime they did like Wilson robbing and murdering a mailman so his conscience came around and he refused the pardon

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    Why do I think citizens should be able to refuse a presidential pardon is because maybe they feel bad for what they did and want the consequence for…

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    0
  • Jordan from Oklahoma

    In my own opinion yes, I believe a person should be able to refuse leniency on a sentence.
    If a pardon is brought on to a person by the president they should not be forced to accept it.
    The reason I believe that they have the right to refuse is if the person who is getting the pardon believes that they have done wrong and thinks there punishment is fair then they can decline. To my knowledge and understanding it is a human right to be able to decline an offer. It’s like if someone offers you a piece of chocolate you do not by law have to accept their offer. To me it is the same with the pardon you have the right to refuse. For example the first person to decline a pardon George Wilson he was an accomplice to robbery and murder. His partner in crime was hanged but he had connections in with Andrew Jackson so he gave him a pardon. George declined and the house went back and forth on if he could and there is no law stating that he can’t. So he took his sentence and like his partner he was hanged. So in conclusion I believe that a person has the right to decline a pardon if they believe there sentence if fair and they are in concente to the sentence.

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    In my own opinion yes, I believe a person should be able to refuse leniency on a sentence.
    If a pardon is brought on to a person by the president the…

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    0
  • KYNAN from Oklahoma

    i think that a person should be able to refuse a pardon from the presdint because one the U.S.A is a free place yes there are problems that the usa faces but a person should be able to do what they want because in the time article its says michael cohen would not accept a pardon even imf trump gave one to him and in my mind i think he has the right to decline a pardon i think anyone should have the rightto decline a pardon from the presdient

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    i think that a person should be able to refuse a pardon from the presdint because one the U.S.A is a free place yes there are problems that the usa fa…

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    0
  • Steven from Maryland

    It is a person’s free will to choose whether or not to accept an offer/ gift. As there is no law that requires one to accept a gift, especially from the president, an individual may decline it, in this case, a pardon.

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    It is a person’s free will to choose whether or not to accept an offer/ gift. As there is no law that requires one to accept a gift, especially from t…

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    0
  • Noa from Virginia

    I think that stopping someone from being in prison — if that’s what they want (maybe they want to repent for their sins) — is a rejecting the idea of its citizens’ free will, which is against the law. In U.S. v. George Wilson, Pres. Jackson tried to pardon George Wilson, but he rejected it. The Supreme Court ruled that a pardon is a deed. It is something you can deliver or reject, like a gift, and the court can’t force you to accept a gift

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    I think that stopping someone from being in prison — if that’s what they want (maybe they want to repent for their sins) — is a rejecting the id…

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    0
  • Jewelliann from Kansas

    People have the right to decline a pardon. They do realize what they are refusing and it is their decision. If they want to stay where they are why not let them. Maybe some people don’t want to deal with the thought of leaving the place they are and go back home or something, because of the embarrassment. Some would rather stay where they are whether they are going to die, or just be there for the rest of their lives. They know why they are in jail and some people actually have the common sense to not let themselves loose.

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    People have the right to decline a pardon. They do realize what they are refusing and it is their decision. If they want to stay where they are why no…

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    0
  • Hannah from Kansas

    It’s your life. you should be able to choose whether or not you take the pardon. Yes, it’s coming from the President, but you should be able to choose if you’d like to be excused from you crimes/actions. Obviously, if you’re guilty, you’ll most likely always take the pardon, but sometimes they don’t, possibly because he/she feel regret and want to pay for their actions and wrongdoings. I just think that we all have an individual right to choose whether to accept or decline the pardon.

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    It’s your life. you should be able to choose whether or not you take the pardon. Yes, it’s coming from the President, but you should be able to choose…

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    0
  • Geraldine from Virginia

    Yes, I believe that a citizen should be able to reject a pardon from the president because the one who is guilty knows that they have done wrong and if the guilty person wasn’t allowed to say yes or no to the president then they would basically be giving to much power to the president who in the first place should not be meddling with someone else’s guilt. With rejecting the pardon the guilty party can learn from his/her mistakes other then sweeping it under the carpet.

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    Yes, I believe that a citizen should be able to reject a pardon from the president because the one who is guilty knows that they have done wrong and i…

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    0
  • Kennedy from Virginia

    A pardon is similar to a gift, in that you can either choose to accept it or to decline it. You can make your own decision because you have the right to do so. You have the right to decide for yourself. You can think of the possible consequences and what they entail, however, you choose at your own risk. Rejecting a pardon may not be ideal in the eyes of some, but that is because they do not see it fit in their lives or futures. If felons are not allowed to reject a pardon, then aren’t we taking away their right to decision?

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    A pardon is similar to a gift, in that you can either choose to accept it or to decline it. You can make your own decision because you have the right…

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    0
  • Joshua from Virginia

    I believe that a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon from the president of the United States. I believe that it is up to the convicted citizen’s own morals and beliefs to accept the pardon, not another person, and even if that person is the president. Some may argue that it is disrespectful to waive the integrity of the president, but one person’s opinion and dis-respectfulness should not be factored into crime or other legal offenses. Pardons are often used to combat against corrupted and flawed judicial processes, which makes sense, however I do not believe that one person (the president) should have the ultimate power to decide if the judicial process is null. Even if a pardon is granted, it should be up to the convicted citizen to accept it or not.

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    I believe that a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon from the president of the United States. I believe that it is up to the convicted citizen’s…

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    0
  • James from Virginia

    Yes, I believe that citizens should have the right to reject a presidential pardon. If a citizen does not want to be pardoned for their crimes and wishes to take the punishment, I believe that they should have the right to choose that option. A president should not have the power to make a citizen do something that is against their will.

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    Yes, I believe that citizens should have the right to reject a presidential pardon. If a citizen does not want to be pardoned for their crimes and wis…

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    0
  • Amy from Virginia

    It should be a right for anyone to be able to refuse a pardon from the president. Nobody wants to be punished, so if someone refuses a pardon, they probably think it’s fair given whatever crime they committed. In a democracy, and especially in a country where individual choice and personal freedom is so valued, the president shouldn’t get to decide if someone must accept their pardon.

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    It should be a right for anyone to be able to refuse a pardon from the president. Nobody wants to be punished, so if someone refuses a pardon, they pr…

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    0
  • Kennedy from Virginia

    A pardon is sort of like a gift. When you receive a gift, you can either accept it or reject it. It is kind of rude if you reject the gift, but if you don’t want it then you aren’t forced to take it. If the president extends a pardon to you, you can reject if you wish. You do not absolutely have to accept. People have the right to decide the individual choices they make, so why don’t they make this one by themselves?

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    A pardon is sort of like a gift. When you receive a gift, you can either accept it or reject it. It is kind of rude if you reject the gift, but if you…

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    0
  • Joey from Alabama

    I am sure that this issue will only very rarely come up in our country. However, when it does, I do not see any reason to force someone to accept a pardon. I do not find this issue comparable to the controversy regarding assisted suicide, due to the fact that refusing to accept a pardon does not necessarily mean that someone is choosing the death penalty. If a citizen feels obligated to serve the punishment for their wrongdoings, I think it is well within their rights to do so.

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    I am sure that this issue will only very rarely come up in our country. However, when it does, I do not see any reason to force someone to accept a pa…

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    0
  • Metu from Alabama

    A person should be able to refuse a pardon from the president because either choosing to do so or not to allows them allows that person one of their three basic rights of the pursuit of happiness. If some one truly feels guilty about a wrong doing committed and they believe the rehabilitation would make them a better person, it is their right to pursue that happiness.

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    A person should be able to refuse a pardon from the president because either choosing to do so or not to allows them allows that person one of their t…

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    0
  • Laila from California

    A president should not have the power to decide alone if a citizen is allowed to be pardoned for any crime committed. Therefore, if a citizen feels responsible for a crime he or she committed, that citizen should have the right to refuse the presidential pardon if he or she deems it necessary. In Cohen’s case, he might understand that no man is above the law, regardless what the president has to say about it . As Trump’s former lawyer, Cohen may feel that Trump is biased with his pardon, and accepting it may be an unethical action to take, all things considered. Depending on circumstances, a citizen should be allowed to refuse a presidential pardon; of course, this may undermine the power of the president, however, the United States government is built upon a system of checks and balances, so the ability of a citizen to refuse a presidential pardon could prevent a president from abusing the power, thus keeping the president in check to ensure he or she is not more powerful than the other branches.

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    A president should not have the power to decide alone if a citizen is allowed to be pardoned for any crime committed. Therefore, if a citizen feels re…

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  • Thressay from Michigan

    By accepting the pardon, the individual’s original action is often belittled. If I believe that 2+7=9, and someone stated that–though he believes that 2+7=5–he would overlook my error, I cannot legitimately maintain my position. If I refuse to accept his condescension, then I can better support the justice of my position. The struggle, and eventual victory, of justice is more important than its well-meaning yet ineffective alternative.
    Looking at the Bill of Rights alone, this is provided for in the First Amendment by its provision for a redress of grievances. The Second Amendment would be violated because, by forcing someone to accept the pardon, he would be forced to witness against himself. The Ninth Amendment holds that all rights normally recognized to an individual (which would include refusal) will be sustained.

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    By accepting the pardon, the individual’s original action is often belittled. If I believe that 2+7=9, and someone stated that–though he believes tha…

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  • Myah from Texas

    Yes. I person should be given the right to say no to something. We are given a freedom in the U.S. and with that freedom, we are able to decide when and how and what we want to do with our lives. If I sat before a court and they gave me two choices: the death penalty or jail. My lawyer and I have the ability to choose. That is the same situation for this decision; you can be pardoned or not pardoned. Either way, I deal with the consequences of what I decide. But I still have a choice. If Trump said: YOU HAVE TO BE PARDONED. THAT IS YOUR SENTENCE. Well then sure he has to be considered pardoned but Trump is giving him a choice. It’s just like when Catholics go to confession: they know that God will pardon them but some still decide not to go and accept his pardon. So we see from this the pardon is open but it has to be accepted.

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    Yes. I person should be given the right to say no to something. We are given a freedom in the U.S. and with that freedom, we are able to decide when…

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  • Jonathan from California

    I think that it is absolutely the right of a U.S. citizen to be able to reject a pardon if they wish to do so. In the first amendment is grants the right to freedom of speech and expression and if the person feels that they do not want to be pardon then it is not the federal governments responsibility to infringe that freedom. It should not be the responsibility of the government to force a pardon upon someone who does not want it.

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    I think that it is absolutely the right of a U.S. citizen to be able to reject a pardon if they wish to do so. In the first amendment is grants the ri…

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  • Rachael from Kentucky

    A person should be able to refuse a pardon from the President of the United States because it is part of the amendments where an American citizen holds many freedoms, such as the freedom of religion. John Wilson robbed and murdered a U.S. mail carrier, so in his mind, morally, he would have felt like he needed to have consequences for his actions. Although theoretically all his consequences could’ve been dropped, he probably would’ve still felt like a criminal. I think that depending on the crime of the individual, a person should be able to have freedom to choose whether or not they will be charged for their faults.

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    A person should be able to refuse a pardon from the President of the United States because it is part of the amendments where an American citizen hold…

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  • Nyah from Kentucky

    I think people should be able to refuse a presidential pardon. Everyone has rights in this country, and to be given the option to accept a pardon is to be granted the freedom of speech. If someone commits a serious crime and does not want to be pardoned, they may still feel responsible or guilty. I think people should have the choice in whether or not they want to be pardoned.

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    I think people should be able to refuse a presidential pardon. Everyone has rights in this country, and to be given the option to accept a pardon is t…

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    0
  • Andrew from Kentucky

    Yes you should be able to refuse a pardon because it is your constitutional right to plead guilty if you want. If Cohn cannot plead guilty to his crimes because Trump is pardoning him then it is a violation of the constitution.

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    Yes you should be able to refuse a pardon because it is your constitutional right to plead guilty if you want. If Cohn cannot plead guilty to his crim…

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  • Ben from Kentucky

    I feel like people should be able to refuse the pardon because some people know what they did and what they did was wrong. People can feel like they need to be punished for it. People should be able to say no to it if they want to be honest to themselves and America. Being honest is what makes us human and being able to tell right from wrong makes us human. Maybe sometimes criminals just think that they got what they deserve and if they are pardoned they’ll be left wondering why they were pardoned and not punished for what they did.

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    I feel like people should be able to refuse the pardon because some people know what they did and what they did was wrong. People can feel like they n…

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  • Kerenza from Indiana

    I think a person should have every right to refuse a pardon. I do not understand why one would choose to refuse a pardon because I do not see any cons to accepting it. I believe that if someone is going to deny a pardon they must have good reasoning behind it because typically they would be accepted. If someone does not want to accept something like this they should not have to, whether the reason behind it is for a good purpose or not.

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    I think a person should have every right to refuse a pardon. I do not understand why one would choose to refuse a pardon because I do not see any cons…

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  • kenneth from Kentucky

    I believe that when a person a person is givin a life sentince in jail that persones life is taken away. So whe givin a pardon that person can have theyr life back. Yet that doesnt actually absolve that person of the crimes so they still have the choice to serve their time or go free.

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    I believe that when a person a person is givin a life sentince in jail that persones life is taken away. So whe givin a pardon that person can have th…

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  • Jesse from Kentucky

    Yes. I believe that it is a personal choice. We as citizens of the United States have freedoms. A pardon should not be forced on someone if they feel they should serve their time for their own actions. While it would make the most sense to accept the pardon, some people may feel like they should serve their time just like the rest of the criminals in jail, so I believe it is fair to deny a pardon if that is your choice.

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    Yes. I believe that it is a personal choice. We as citizens of the United States have freedoms. A pardon should not be forced on someone if they feel …

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  • avery from Kentucky

    I do think that a citizen should be able to to reject a pardon because if they really feel bad about the crime that they committed and they wanted to be held accountable for their actions then they should be able to wan to refuse it. If someone rejected a pardon from the president and were punished for it then its against our rights as a U.S. citizen. Forcing a presidential pardon to someone who wants to be held accountable and wants to be punished for it would be dumb.

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    I do think that a citizen should be able to to reject a pardon because if they really feel bad about the crime that they committed and they wanted to …

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  • Thomas from Kentucky

    For me, I feel as if we have a choice in just about everything else in our life, why would anyone ever refuse a pardon. In most cases , getting a pardon is great and I do not think turning away a presidential pardon is a good move in any situaton.

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    For me, I feel as if we have a choice in just about everything else in our life, why would anyone ever refuse a pardon. In most cases , getting a pard…

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  • Cole from Kentucky

    You should be able to refuse a pardon for multiple reasons. This is a free country. While they are still in prison they have the right to choose if they so wish. Or if it is a religious belief that which you do unto others be done to you, you should be allowed to refuse. At the end of the day, if you are going to receive a pardon it should be your choice to take it or not.

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    You should be able to refuse a pardon for multiple reasons. This is a free country. While they are still in prison they have the right to choose if th…

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  • sarah from Kentucky

    Rejecting a presidential pardon, should be acceptable, because as citizen we should have the freedom of choise and we need the right to decide. Serving a punishment for some people, can change they way they act in the future, and shape them to be a better person then they were before. And while some people do believe that statement, the victums have a right to change their behavior wether than going back out and potentionally doing the same thing. Therefore rejecting the pardon they get to respect their punishment and want to follow through with it.

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    Rejecting a presidential pardon, should be acceptable, because as citizen we should have the freedom of choise and we need the right to decide. Servin…

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  • Morgan from Kentucky

    I think a person should be able to reject a presidential pardon from the President of the United States because that person may feel like it is only right to serve the amount of time they were sentenced to. As a citizen of the United States we also have the freedom of speech and the right to make our own choices. As a result, I believe that no person should have to accept a pardon if they do not want to, I think it should be their choice. If the government decided that any one who got granted a pardon had to accept, it would go against our right of freedom to make our own choices. Also, if a person gets sentenced for the crime they committed might feel responsible and not want to accept the pardon, which is their choice and okay.

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    I think a person should be able to reject a presidential pardon from the President of the United States because that person may feel like it is only r…

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  • kate from Kentucky

    Even though they commited a crime the convicted person should still get the option to accept or decline a pardon. They should have the right to choose their fate if the opportunity occurs. If they wish to fill out their sentence because they feel it’s what they deserve, then they should be able to.

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    Even though they commited a crime the convicted person should still get the option to accept or decline a pardon. They should have the right to choose…

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  • Abby from Kentucky

    I believe that citizens should be able to reject a presidential pardon. When rejecting the pardon, you are able to learn from your mistakes and think about what you did wrong. I think it could be a very mature move to reject the pardon and take responsibility rather than just getting out of it easily. There are many different types of crimes that people have committed that they get a lesser sentence than another person or get out of it easily and I believe that every criminal should have to spend time making up for the crime that they committed.

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    I believe that citizens should be able to reject a presidential pardon. When rejecting the pardon, you are able to learn from your mistakes and think …

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  • Geena from Kentucky

    A citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because of their freedom of speech. Whether they believe that they should own up/ serve for their crime, or the claims are false, they should be able to choose whether or not they suffer for it. If someone knows what they did was wrong and should not be let off the hook, they should be able to refuse the president’s pardon. Everyone should have the freedom to choose, whether it is accepting or refusing the president’s offer.

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    A citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because of their freedom of speech. Whether they believe that they should own up/ serve for t…

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  • Alex from Kentucky

    A person should be able to refuse because it is his or her life choice to get out of all crime. The president should not force someone to get out of jail if they do not want to. People may want to serve there time for the crime/s they have committed. By being pardoned by the president, you may feel more guilt for the crime you have committed. Other citizens may also not like the president if they pardon someone with an extensive crime report, making him look bad.

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    A person should be able to refuse because it is his or her life choice to get out of all crime. The president should not force someone to get out of j…

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  • Olivia from Kentucky

    I believe that people should not have to accept a pardon from the president. I understand that the president is the highest ruler and we all should listen to him but it doesn’t seem right to HAVE to take a get out of jail card from him. If you commit the crime you should be willing to do the time. And the president should not be able to MAKE you not take the time. You should have the right to do the time for you crime, the president should not be able to free you from jail to free his guilt. I truly believe that it is the person’s choice in whether or not they accept a pardon from the president.

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    I believe that people should not have to accept a pardon from the president. I understand that the president is the highest ruler and we all should li…

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  • Alex from Kentucky

    I think a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon because it is their choice. We live in a government where citizens have representation and a voice in the government. The president does not have all of the power in the government, this way the president should not regarding this issue. If a person does something against the law they will most likely experience guilt. A person experiencing guilt might find the only way to dismiss their guilt would be accepting their consequence and try to make up for what you did. If the person does in fact want to accept the pardon and can deal with their crime without a consequence then so be it. I just think that citizens should be able to have a say in accepting a pardon in a hope to relieve their sorrows.

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    I think a citizen should be able to refuse a pardon because it is their choice. We live in a government where citizens have representation and a voic…

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  • Gracie from Kentucky

    I think a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because if they choose to own up to their actions and take responsibility for what they’ve done, they can do that and serve the time needed. Since the crime committed was a decision that they chose to make, I think that they should be able to choose whether or not to accept the pardon as well. Some people believe in learning from their mistakes, and they may believe that the only way they will learn is by suffering the consequences, and they won’t be able to learn from their mistakes if they are forced to accept the pardon.

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    I think a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because if they choose to own up to their actions and take responsibility for what th…

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  • Emma from Kentucky

    I think that a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because the decision is entirely up to the person. The president has not right determining if they have served their time yet. The person could have felt guilty and they wanted to make up for it by serving the time they were given. A citizen can refuse a presidential pardon because they can decide what they want to do with their life. They are easing the guilt they have anyway they want it.

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    I think that a citizen should be able to refuse a presidential pardon because the decision is entirely up to the person. The president has not right d…

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  • Paige from Indiana

    I believe that people should be able to make their own choices when it comes to how they serve out their crimes. If a person believes what they have done deserves true punishment–although it is an honor to be recognized by the president–and they want to serve time to feel morally upright again, they should be able to have that opportunity to use their freedom of speech and take responsibility for their actions.

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    I believe that people should be able to make their own choices when it comes to how they serve out their crimes. If a person believes what they have d…

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  • rachel from Kentucky

    I think that people should be able to deny the pardon because it’s there life, if they want to live up to their punishment then who cares. They didn’t ask for the pardon in the first place so you should be able to choose if you want it or not.

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    I think that people should be able to deny the pardon because it’s there life, if they want to live up to their punishment then who cares. They didn’t…

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  • Benjamin from Kentucky

    People should be able to reject a presidential pardon, because, If they want to serve the sentence for their crime it is their right.

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  • Daniel from Tennessee

    People should be able to reject a presidential pardon because of their freedom of speech and freedom to make their own choices. I don’t think the government has the right to ban someone from making a stupid decision and turning down a presidential pardon.

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    People should be able to reject a presidential pardon because of their freedom of speech and freedom to make their own choices. I don’t think the gove…

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  • Patrick from Kentucky

    Just like a citizen has the ability to reject a trial and plea guilty/no contest, a citizen should be able to say to a president that they don’t want to be pardoned. How can we say that a citizen does not have the option to be found and held accountable for their actions. Citizens should have the freedom to choose to not be pardoned. Maybe for the person being pardoned, they want to serve their punishment because they feel responsible.

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    Just like a citizen has the ability to reject a trial and plea guilty/no contest, a citizen should be able to say to a president that they don’t want …

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  • Liam from Kentucky

    I think a person should be able to reject a presidential pardon. If a person commits a crime they are not sorry for or they did for a moral or ethical cause, then they stand by what they did with good intentions. Forcing a presidential pardon upon someone who sees their crime as an act of patriotism or morality would be inappropriate and would destroy their purpose and statement. If a person does not want a presidential pardon, they should be able to refuse it.

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    I think a person should be able to reject a presidential pardon. If a person commits a crime they are not sorry for or they did for a moral or ethica…

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  • Grace from Tennessee

    If someone that were convicted of a felony and sentenced to the death penalty, it is universally understood that they did something intensely terrible to deserve that punishment. In order to object the presidential pardon, it seems that a person must have one of two types of mindsets. The first being that the person does not wish to live (either because of the crime committed, the reputation, depression, or other reasons). The second being that the person feels so much remorse for the crime that was committed, they feel that they deserve the punishment (if the punishment was not implemented the person may feel that they have not recompensed for their wrong-doing). Both of these instances result in the rejection of the presidential pardon. If the president sees fit to pardon the criminal, it must be under very serious circumstances. The person may deserve the punishment, but if the president feels that they could become a help for our society, then, in a way, the president would be saving someone’s life. Mercy isn’t something that is earned or deserved but it is something that is freely given to a remorseful or sincere heart by someone who sees more than just a criminal. No, a criminal should not be able to decide what is best for them, because they aren’t in their right-mind of thinking. It takes a leader to make an executive decision in order to preserve and improve the lives of every citizens, including the ones who make bad choices.

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    If someone that were convicted of a felony and sentenced to the death penalty, it is universally understood that they did something intensely terrible…

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    • Hannah from Kansas

      I chose yes for the vote, but this is a very great argument. I also agree with the way you present it.

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  • Joseph from Colorado

    No, Because the president has the right to give citizens a pardon from their crimes if he so wishes

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  • joe from Nebraska

    and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    Article 2 Section 2 Part 1 of the United States Constitution.

    It clearly states he shall have the power to, not he can extend the option to, but the power to.

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    and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    Article 2 Section 2 …

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  • Adi from Ohio

    In this situation, the individual does not have rights to make a decision. They are held under US law, and must respect and obey it. A presidents right to give a pardon in held above the choice of a convicted person, due to the fact that in reality, the convicted has no rights. Obviously, the convicted has no rights because that person was convicted, and surrendered any rights he/she has.

    On another note, a president will have his ideas on why he should pardon the individual. If the person were to not accept the pardon, it could have subsequent consequences on the intentions of the president.
    This is why an individual must accept a pardon.

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    In this situation, the individual does not have rights to make a decision. They are held under US law, and must respect and obey it. A presidents righ…

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  • Monique from California

    A person should not be able to reject a pardon from the President as it is his power to grant a pardon. Just because the President today is one many don’t like it does not change the power of the Presidency. No one should reject something just because the idea came from someone they don’t like. Often those ideas are still very good.

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    A person should not be able to reject a pardon from the President as it is his power to grant a pardon. Just because the President today is one many…

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    • Mya from Kansas

      I agree that you shouldn’t decline a pardon just because it is from a president you don’t like, but I think if someone declines a pardon, that could also mean that they feel as if they should still serve the sentence they got because they feel that guilty. Some people just feel that guilty of what they did, that they would rather serve the time they have then get a pardon from the president.

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      I agree that you shouldn’t decline a pardon just because it is from a president you don’t like, but I think if someone declines a pardon, that could a…

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    • Hannah from Kansas

      Yes, it is his power to grant the pardon, but why should the person have to take it?? I don’t think it’s the fact that the person rejected it because they don’t like whoever the President was/is at the time, if he/she committed a crime and was offered a pardon, they’d either take it and go free, or reject it and pay for their crimes.

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      Yes, it is his power to grant the pardon, but why should the person have to take it?? I don’t think it’s the fact that the person rejected it because …

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  • Jillian from Tennessee

    If someone wants to end their life, it’s generally accepted that we must intervene in these matters and save them from themselves. Refusing a presidential pardon may just lead to someone’s death, why should we let them kill themselves in an indirect matter when we wouldn’t let that happen in a direct way?

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    If someone wants to end their life, it’s generally accepted that we must intervene in these matters and save them from themselves. Refusing a presiden…

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  • Solomon from California

    No. It is not a right. The political power of the President to pardon a person is not something that can be challenged. If so, the other powers of the President would also be able to be questioned, and that is not acceptable.

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    No. It is not a right. The political power of the President to pardon a person is not something that can be challenged. If so, the other powers of the…

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    • Noah from Virginia

      I agree with you that sometimes the political power of the President should not be challenged, however, there is a system of checks and balances that is used to make sure that one branch of the government does not get too powerful. I feel that a pardon from the President should be allowed to be refused because through the system of checks and balances, the President cannot override the decision without consulting the other branches first. This is just like when congress tries to pass laws; the president can read over a law and decide that the law is something he/she does not like and decide to not sign the law. However, the other branches can veto his decision by getting a 2/3 decision for it. This situation of refusing a pardon is kind of similar in the sense that the president can refuse but the person can veto the decision and pick whatever they want to do.

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      I agree with you that sometimes the political power of the President should not be challenged, however, there is a system of checks and balances that …

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    • Thressay from Michigan

      The political power of the president also grants the ability to sign/veto a bill, command military, ask his cabinet’s input, convene/adjourn congress, and receive ambassadors. Even a vetoed bill can be passed with enough votes. If the president convenes congress, a congressman could still choose not go to work that day; if he adjourns congress, that same congressman could still attend an empty meeting room. When the president receives an ambassador, does every American citizen welcome him, or is there a chance that at least one citizen does not accept his presence?

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      The political power of the president also grants the ability to sign/veto a bill, command military, ask his cabinet’s input, convene/adjourn congress,…

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