Definition of prerogative of mercy in English:

prerogative of mercy


  • The right and power of a sovereign, president, or other supreme authority to commute a death sentence, to change the mode of execution, or to pardon an offender.

    • ‘Neither he nor any previous president has exercised the prerogative of mercy.’
    • ‘The prerogative of mercy exists as a safety valve where the criminal trial and appeal system produces a result which the public interest cannot sustain.’
    • ‘This was particularly dangerous for Middleton because it challenged the royal prerogative of mercy.’
    • ‘Yet the people, like all sovereigns, had the prerogative of mercy, and on the eighteenth a reprieve was proposed.’
    • ‘The prerogative of mercy should be exercised by procedures which are fair and proper and… are subject to judicial review.’