Mercy is a noble sentiment and a reflection of our American principles. In the legal realm the concept of clemency is a practice that predated our colonies and was a power utilized by heads of state and royal appointees. These government pardons could either correct the errors of corrupt courts or (for profit) corrupt the results of righteous courts. Somehow, the practice of clemency has lasted until the present day when the governors of some 40 of our 50 states wield the power of the pardon.
That authority was recently exercised by Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi, when …