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In 1829, a man named George Wilson robbed the U.S. Mail and in the act, committed a murder.

He was later arrested, tried and convicted, and sentenced to be hanged.

Some of his friends petitioned President Andrew Jackson for a pardon.

The pardon was granted. But Wilson refused to accept it.

This matter was taken to the Supreme Court.

And in their decision, Justice Marshall explained that in order to be valid,

a pardon must be accepted by the condemned person.

While it is virtually inconceivable that a person sentenced to death would refuse a pardon, that person had the right to do so.

George Wilson was executed while his written pardon lay on the sheriff’s desk.