Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Amnesty'
- a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment
- a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense [syn: pardon]
- the formal act of liberating someone [syn: pardon, free pardon}] v : grant a pardon to (a group of people) [also: amnestied]
- Amnesty \Am"nes*ty\, n. [L. amnestia, Gr. ?, a forgetting, fr. ?
forgotten, forgetful; 'a priv. + ? to remember: cf. F.
amnistie, earlier amnestie. See Mean, v.]
- Forgetfulness; cessation of remembrance of wrong; oblivion.
- An act of the sovereign power granting oblivion, or a general pardon, for a past offense, as to subjects concerned in an insurrection.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Amnesty'
Amnesty (from the Greek ἀμνηστία amnestia, oblivion) is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the offense. The word has the same root as amnesia. Amnesty is more and more used to express 'freedom' and the time when prisoners can go free.
Amnesties, which in the United Kingdom, may be granted by the crown alone, or by an act of Parliament, were formerly usual on coronations and similar occasions, but are chiefly exercised towards associations of political criminals, and are sometimes granted absolutely, though more frequently there are certain specified exceptions. Thus, in the case of the earliest recorded amnesty, that of Thrasybulus at Athens, the thirty tyrants and a few others were expressly excluded from its operation; and the amnesty proclaimed on the restoration of Charles II of England did not extend to those who had taken part in the execution of his father. Other famous amnesties include: Napoleon's amnesty of March 13, 1815 from which thirteen eminent persons, including Talleyrand, were exempt; the Prussian amnesty of August 10, 1840; the general amnesty proclaimed by the emperor Franz Josef I of Austria in 1857; the general amnesty granted by President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, after the American Civil War (1861-April 9, 1865), in 1868, and the French amnesty of 1905. Amnesty in U.S. politics in 1872 meant restoring the right to vote and hold office to ex-Confederates, which was achieved by act of Congress.[See more about Amnesty at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
Words and phrases related to 'Amnesty'