For the human rights organization, see Amnesty International.
Amnesty (from the Greek amnestia, oblivion) is an act of justice by which the supreme power in a state restores those who may have been guilty of any offence against it to the position of innocent persons. It includes more than pardon, inasmuch as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the offence. The word has the same root as amnesia.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