Thursday, July 8, 2010

The First Spy Pardon

James Madison granted the first presidential pardon to a spy in the fourth year of his first term. The recipient was one John Ryan (of Great Britain - captured in New York) who was sentenced to the gallows by General William Wadsworth after the decision of a unanimous court.

President Madison "approved" of the sentence, but granted a pardon nonetheless.

The clemency warrant was signed on November 10, 1812.

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