Issue 11 (2019)

ATTEMPT TO RETHINK PARDON IN GEORGIAN CRIMINAL LAW

Abstract: The concept of pardon has long been an important matter of criminal law. But the most topical it becomes during presidential elections in Georgia. Some candidates openly promise to pardon specifi c criminals. These questionable promises can on the other hand serve as a push forward for legal thought and raise a question: considering obvious risks (abuse of power), does the concept of pardon still respond to modern legal standards? Mostly the matter is being approached from the point of presidential powers (Constitutional law). But as an inherent part of criminal law pardon should be rethought through the prism of the goals of punishment which are well defined both in legal science and legislation of Georgia, namely: restoration of justice, prevention of new offence, re-socialization of an offender. Obviously pardon helps to achieve the goal of re-socialization and maybe prevention. But the very same can be achieved by using parole which is much stricter regulated and holds much smaller probability of abuse of power. Despite obvious risks there is still a good reason not to abolish pardon completely. Even hypothetical chance to be pardoned serves as a high hope for a convict. Hope is one of the most important elements that encourages a convicted criminal to fi nd his/her way back to society, elimination of which might definitely cripple his/ her faith making the goal of re-socialization less achievable than ever.

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