noun, plural clem·en·cies.
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Origin of clemency
SYNONYMS FOR clemency
OTHER WORDS FROM clemencyo·ver·clem·en·cy, noun
Words nearby clemency
what does clemency mean?
Clemency is mercy or the quality of being lenient.
Clemency is most commonly used in a legal context for situations in which a prisoner is officially pardoned or has their sentence shortened.
Example: The governor has granted her clemency, meaning she will be released early.
Where does clemency come from?
The first evidence of the use of clemency in the English language comes from around 1400. It derives from the Latin clementia, which comes from the Latin clēmēns, meaning “gentle” or “merciful.”
Clemency has always been used to mean “mercifulness” or “mildness,” especially that of someone who holds power or authority, like a king or queen. Such a person could be said to have shown clemency if, for example, they could have had someone punished but did not.
This is how the term is used today. In law and criminal justice, clemency refers specifically to an executive official (like a president or governor) officially granting mercy to someone who has been convicted of a crime. This can take several forms, including a pardon (in which the crime is forgiven and the punishment is cancelled), a reprieve (in which the convicted person is given additional time before their punishment takes effect), or the commutation of a sentence (in which the punishment is reduced in some way).
Much more rarely, the word clemency is used to refer to mild weather. A much more commonly used form of this word is inclement, which is used to describe bad weather.
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What are some other forms of clemency?
- clement (adjective)
- overclemency (noun)
- inclemency (noun)
What are some synonyms for clemency?
What are some words that share a root or word element with clemency?
What are some words that often get used in discussing clemency?
How is clemency used in real life?
Clemency is most often used in the context of criminal justice.
So happy to hear 11 people were granted clemency last week. I can’t imagine what that must feel like.
Keep them coming!
— Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) February 25, 2020
Too often, victims of human trafficking are pulled into a vicious cycle of crime.
That’s why TX is announcing an initiative to help survivors apply for clemency with the opportunity to receive a full pardon.
We are empowering survivors so they may find a second chance at life. pic.twitter.com/8pTMl3R54e
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 21, 2020
Today is the Roger Stone sentencing. Here is what I will be watching for beyond the amount of prison time he gets: What words does Judge Amy Berman Jackson use in sentencing him—knowing as she speaks that she may be scripting a presidential clemency drama?
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) February 20, 2020
Try using clemency!
Is clemency used correctly in the following sentence?
New pathways to clemency mean that some prisoners will have the opportunity to be released early.
Example sentences from the Web for clemency
Those who have such views are of course entitled to continue to have them, but the clemency grant has nothing to do with that.Exclusive: U.S. Intel Committee Chiefs Blast Deal for Israeli Spy|Josh Rogin|April 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Justice Department wants lawyers to help non-violent drug offenders get clemency to leave jail.A Momentous Change for America’s Tortuous Drug Sentencing|Andrew Cohen|January 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
No less than the New York Times has called for clemency on his behalf, insisting that he has “done his country a great service.”The Unseen Threat to the Fourth Amendment Is the Fourth Amendment Itself|Kevin Bleyer|January 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Yesterday, the New York Times urged the Obama administration to offer Edward Snowden “a plea bargain or some form of clemency.”
The chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees have also said clemency should be ruled out for Snowden.Michael Hayden, Ex-NSA Director, Says Clemency for Edward Snowden Is ‘Outrageous’ Idea|Eli Lake|January 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Yet such was their lenity and clemency, that upon a petition from them, the foresaid persons were set at liberty.Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies)|John Howie
This clemency, he said, could no longer be extended to them should Major Andr suffer.Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2|John Frederick Schroeder
In the spring of the year 1605 the whole state of England still showed a tendency to clemency and conciliation.
For there was no rejoicing among the recipients of His Majesty's clemency—heart-broken silence alone, and chill despair!When Ghost Meets Ghost|William Frend De Morgan
In writing to the Crown Princess on hospital matters she put in a plea for clemency in the hour of final victory.The Life of Florence Nightingale vol. 2 of 2|Edward Tyas Cook