65 Fla. L. Rev. F. 17 (2013)
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Florida Law Review Forum


Response to Chad Flanders, Pardons and the Theory of the “Second Best

In his engaging article, Chad Flanders examines the justification of executive pardons. The article’s key contribution is its contention that we cannot determine whether pardons are justified solely by considering them individually.  It is not enough, that is, to ask in each case whether there exist what Kathleen Moore calls “good and sufficient reasons” for the pardon (basically, whether the pardon will remedy a miscarriage of justice of one form or another). To assess whether pardons are justified, Flanders argues that we must also examine them holistically. Pardons that are justifiable individually (because there are, we may agree, good and sufficient reasons for them) may nevertheless be unjustified if they are part of a pattern of pardoning that is racist, favoritist, or otherwise problematic.
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