From: Fabrizio Evola [Email him]
I read the recent post from Hubert Collins regarding the issuance of Presidential pardons to anyone prosecuted for shooting a looter. Generally, I think this is a good idea, but it is somewhat incomplete. According to the Constitution, the President is limited to issuing pardons for “Offenses against the United States.” That means he can only pardon people for federal offenses. If a local District Attorney wants to prosecute a person for shooting a looter, there is nothing that President Trump can do to stop it.
State Governors, however, also have the power to issue pardons. Such powers are inherent to executive authority under American jurisprudence. In order to be truly effective, President Trump would need to have some type of agreement with the Governors to render people completely immune from all prosecution.
Democratic Governors would never agree to issue pardons for people charged with shooting a looter. Only Republican Governors could realistically expect to acquiesce to such a proposal. That is an imperfect solution, but better than doing nothing since it provides at least some legal protection to city dwellers in red states.
See earlier letters from the same reader.