Quotation by Rutherford Birchard Hayes

I have heard arguments ... in favor of pardoning D. M. Bennett, convicted of sending obscene matter through the mails, viz., a pamphlet [by Ezra Hervey Heywood] of a polemical character in favor of free love. While I am satisfied that Bennett ought not to have been convicted, I am not satisfied that I ought to undertake to correct the mistakes of the courts—constantly persisted in—by the exercise of the pardoning power.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 563, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (July 1, 1879).

Although Hayes earlier pardoned Heywood for the same offense, he did not pardon Bennett lest he "trench" on the province of legislators and judges. While satisfied with the principle, Hayes nevertheless harbored doubts about his decision not to pardon Bennett.
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