United States v. Wilson

Not to be confused with "United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332 (1975)", a case regarding double jeopardy on a directed verdict after jury conviction.
United States v. Wilson

Argued January 18, 1833
Decided January 26, 1833
Full case name United States v. Wilson

32 U.S. 150 (more)

32 U.S. 7 Peters 150 (1833)
A pardon cannot be recognized by a judge if it has not been brought judicially before the court by plea, motion, or otherwise.
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Case opinions
Majority Marshall

United States v. Wilson, 32 U.S. 150 (1833), was a case in the United States in which the defendant, George Wilson, was convicted of robbing the US Mail in Pennsylvania and sentenced to death.[1] Due to his friends' influence, Wilson was pardoned by Andrew Jackson. Wilson, however, refused the pardon. The Supreme Court was thus asked to rule on the case.[1]

The decision was that if the prisoner does not accept the pardon, it is not in effect: "A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him." Therefore, Wilson was hanged.[2]


  1. 1 2 Bohm, Robert M., DeathQuest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States, p25
  2. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a2_2_1s29.html

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