To Pardon or Not to Pardon— that is the Question

S M Chen
5 min readJun 15, 2023

What has been bandied about recently in various news media is the notion of pardoning ex-POTUS Donald Trump.

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Here is one pertinent news column. It makes no pretense of being a scholarly treatise on the topic:

And here is a letter to the editor of ‘The Chicago Tribune’ with a similar conclusion but different emphasis:

Herein I examine this potentially thorny issue and hope, in the process, not to draw blood. Mine or anyone else’s.

Human blood is a precious commodity. We are reminded of this with regularity by the American Red Cross when we are urged to donate blood or its various substrates, whether it be plasma, platelets, or some other component of the life-giving liquid.

I have type AB blood, the type of the universal recipient, and, being the rarest blood type, it is somewhat prized. So much so that I receive periodic supplications from the Red Cross, where I have gladly donated in the past.

Who among us knows the next time we ourselves may be in a position to ask for this prized substance for ourselves — for elective surgery or an emergency? For some, potential danger Is lurking just around the corner, maybe just a car crash away.

Empathy is among the highest qualities a human can exhibit.

Something in our makeup warms our cockles when we learn of a human altruistically helping another human or member of the animal kingdom. It is worth remembering we humans are all members of that kingdom.

We consider empathy to indicate intelligence in animals.

Those we deem to be among the most intelligent (e.g. chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants) seem to demonstrate some form of identifiable empathy.