Pardon is an act of grace, proceedings from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment which law inflicts for a crime he has committed. Every civilised society recognises and has therefore provided for the pardoning power to be exercised as an act of grace and humanity in appropriate cases. This power has been exercised in most of the States from time immemorial, and has always been regarded as a necessary attribute of sovereignty. It is also an act of justice, supported by a wise public policy. It cannot, however, be treated as a privilege. It is as much an official duty as any other act. It is vested in the Authority not for the benefit of the convict only, but for the welfare of the people; who may properly insist upon the performance of that duty by him if a pardon or parole is to be granted.