Pardon comes from latin indultus and refers to the grace that allows exempt someone from punishment or modify a penalty . The term is also used to name the sorry that can be granted by a president or agent to annul, reduce or change a punishment .
The pardon, therefore, can be considered as a way to extinguish a criminal responsibility. It differs from the amnesty since this assumes that the fault is forgiven, while the pardon implies the forgiveness of the execution of the punishment although the person is still considered guilty.
If the pardon supposes the elimination of all the sanctions applied to the convicted person, the total pardon , while if the referral only affects some of the punishments, we are facing a partial pardon .
Crimes against humanity
In Argentina , the pardons are associated with the measure taken by the former president Carlos Saul Menem between October 1989 and December 1990 to forgive the military and civilians who incurred different kinds of crimes during the military dictatorship who ruled the country from 1976 until 1983 .
The beneficiaries with this measure taken by Menem they were all high military chiefs and guerrilla leaders (Jorge Videla , Emilio Massera , Orlando Agosti , Roberto Viola , Ramón Camps , Guillermo Suarez Mason and Mario Firmenich ), a considerable number of citizens who had been accused of subversion and who were outside the country, detained or convicted, many of them missing, all military personnel from both the naval prefecture and the intelligence service and former members of what became known as the Military Junta (Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, Jorge Isaac Anaya and Basilio Arturo Ignacio Lami Dozo).
Although these pardons were intended to call for peace and reconciliation, all they did was to open an even wider gap between the supporters of both sides and above all, to demonstrate the negligence so the justice of this country assumed the thousands of deaths and disappeared that left the facto government. This rejection of true justice led to proven revenge and violence, because if the law system itself does not advocate for the rights of citizens, they will most likely take justice by the hands.
The most serious part of this measure is that, although it is assumed that a democratic government It is characterized by representing the ideas of the people, the State did not listen to that people that it should represent; 75% of it strongly opposed the pardons.
It is worth mentioning that from 2003 when the Congress of the Nation of the Argentine Republic stated that laws of Final point and Due Obedience were void, several judges began to consider that the pardons linked to Qualified crimes against humanity They were unconstitutional, which allowed to reopen many causes.
On this subject numerous authors have spoken. It is true that in some cases it may be a positive measure that leads to a more real realization of justice, however in others, as is the case with pardons who committed crimes against humanity, which without taking into account Individuals rights razed hundreds and thousands of lives without any scruple, these measures can be disastrous.
They remind us that democracy as such does not exist because not only the State does not represent the rights and thinking of much of the population, but justice is a theory that never becomes real because the judicial system supports the interests of a few powerful and based on them decrees and laws.