Cover of Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency by Edited by Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain
Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency
Edited by Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain


256 pages.
from $28.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804753326
Paperback ISBN: 9780804753333
Ebook ISBN: 9780804767927


Excerpts and More

Arguments for forgiveness, mercy, and clemency abound. These arguments flourish in organized religion, fiction, philosophy, and law as well as in everyday conversations of daily life among parents and children, teachers and students, and criminals and those who judge them. As common as these arguments are, we are often left with an incomplete understanding of what we mean when we speak about them. This volume examines the registers of individual psychology, religious belief, social practice, and political power circulating in and around those who forgive, grant mercy, or pose clemency power. The authors suggest that, in many ways, necessary examinations of the questions of forgiveness and pardon and the connection between mercy and justice are only just beginning.

About the authors

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. Nasser Hussain is Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.

"[The] reader is offered a substantial number of questions to ponder regarding the powerful tools available to leaders responsible for obviating inconsistencies or injustices in the law. Such questions are useful for a continued and vital debate about how, and to what extent, these powers should be used at all."

The Law and Politics Book Review

"Forgiveness, Mercy, and Clemency is a welcome addition to our understanding of the political and legal world. The book is unique insofar as it addresses many of the nuances associated with a topic that, for many, is isolated to the action taken by Governor Ryan to empty Illinois's death row in January 2003."

—Beau Breslin, Skidmore College