Can the President of the United States Pardon someone for a State offense?
For whatever reason I have been asked this question several times over the last couple of weeks and I did not think it was post worthy. However, I must be wrong, because I keep getting the question.
This answer requires a definitional section. A federal offense is one where you were convicted in federal court. In all prosecutions in federal court the offense is against the United States of America. The cases are all captioned US v. Smith. In state court the offense is against the state. In Pennsylvania the cases are captioned Commonwealth v. Smith, but in some states the cases are captioned like Arizona v. Miranda.
Every state has its own way to grant the governor power to pardon and to restore rights of those previously convicted. In the federal system, only the President can grant a pardon, but in the federal system, the president has about 8 different types of pardons. I won’t write them, hearing, but if folks want them listed, just send an email and I will post. The point is that not all pardons are created equally.
The president can only pardon people convicted in the federal system and governors can only pardon people convicted in their own respective states.
Hope this clears up questions about federal presidential pardons. If not, write a comment or send an email.