Dictionary of Law
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amnesty :: legal definition


Amnesty - n. a blanket abolition of an offense by the government, with the legal result that those charged or convicted have the charge or conviction wiped out. Examples: a) the amnesty given to Confederate officials and soldiers after the Civil War, or b) President Jimmy Carter's granting amnesty (under certain conditions) to those who violated the Selective Service Act in evading the draft during the Vietnam War. The basis for amnesty is generally because the war or other conditions that made the acts criminal no longer exist or have faded in importance. Amnesty is not a pardon as some believe, since a pardon implies forgiveness, and amnesty indicates a reason to overlook or forget the offenses.

See also: pardon and Related Law Terms ↓


Related Law Terms

commutation :: n. the act of reducing a criminal sentence resulti ... See also: executive clemency pardon
executive clemency :: n. the power of a President in federal criminal ca ... ernor. See also: commutation pardon
jeopardy :: n. peril, particularly danger of being charged wit ... ar Evers. See also: double jeopardy
pardon :: 1) v. to use the executive power of a Governor or ... also: amnesty commutation reprieve
plea bargain :: n. in criminal procedure, a negotiation between th ... the ban. See also: cop a plea plea
sedition :: n. the federal crime of advocacy of insurrection a ... e rare. See also: espionage treason
wet reckless :: n. a plea to a charge of reckless driving which wa ... conviction. See also: plea bargain

Popular Law Searches

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forthwith definition legal :: adv. a term found in contracts, court orders and s ... mediacy, with no excuses for delay.
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Other Law Terms - A

a fortiori :: (ah-for-she-ory) prep. Latin for "with even strong ... rother Cain certainly is too young.
a priori assumption :: (ah-pree-ory) n. from Latin, an assumption that is ... when the reality is not so certain.
a.k.a. :: prep. abbreviation for "also known as" when someon ... nodgrass, a.k.a. "Snuffy the Snod."
ab initio :: prep. lawyer Latin for "from the start," as "it wa ... tart," as "it was legal ab initio."
abandon :: v. to intentionally and permanently give up, surre ... lso: abandoned property abandonment
abandoned property :: n. property left behind (often by a tenant) intent ... -use. See also: abandon abandonment
abandonment :: n. the act of intentionally and permanently giving ... : abandon abandoned property patent
abate :: v. to do away with a problem, such as a public or ... ty septic tank. See also: abatement
abatement :: n. 1) the removal of a problem which is against pu ... eneficiary in full. See also: abate
abduction :: n. the criminal taking away of a person by persuas ... g of children. See also: kidnapping
abet :: v. to help someone commit a crime, including helpi ... n the crime. See also: aid and abet
abeyance :: 1) n. when the owner- ship of property has not bee ... 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
able-bodied :: adj. physically capable of working at a job or in ... of paying alimony or child support.
abortion :: n. the termination of pregnancy by various means, ... ed abortion continue in the future.
abrogate :: v. to annul or repeal a law or pass legislation th ... ons of a contract. See also: repeal
abscond :: v. 1) traditionally to leave a jurisdiction (where ... as in "he absconded with the loot."
absolute :: adj. complete, and without condition. ... j. complete, and without condition.
abstention doctrine :: n. when the Supreme Court refuses to exercise its ... being appealed from a state court.
abstract :: n. in general, a summary of a record or document, ... tract of judgment abstract of title
abstract of judgment :: n. a written summary of a judgment which states ho ... aying the debt. See also: levy lien