With the Trump pardons, the question came up, again, whether accepting a Presidential pardon is an acknowledgment of guilt.
For many, Burdick v. United States, 236 U.S. 79 (1925), answered the question in the affirmative. In Burdick, the appellant was offered but declined a pardon. He then refused to testify in a criminal trial. Several conclusions seem to follow from the opinion.
- A pardon can be given before conviction and sentence. If correct, this settles the discussion about several Trump pardons issued before the servicemember was tried.