Ron Soodalter


October 24, 2013 - Harrogate, Tennessee, October 23, 2013—The Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy and LMU-Duncan School of Law (LMU-DSOL) will welcome Ron Soodalter for a presentation entitled “The Quality of Mercy: Abraham Lincoln and the Power to Pardon” on Friday, November 1.

The presentation, which is part of the R. Gerald McMurtry Memorial Lecture Series, will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be presented in the Arnold Auditorium of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on the main campus in Harrogate, Tenn. Remote viewing of the presentation will be available at LMU-DSOL. The program has been approved for attorney continuing legal education (CLE) certification. A total of 1.5 hours of general CLE credit can be earned with attendance. The program is free and open to the public.

The Constitution gives the President power to grant pardons. However, no President in the history has been more scrutinized for his use of pardoning power than Abraham Lincoln. Often praised as a man of compassion and mercy, he is also described as a sentimental meddler who continually under minded military discipline and the sanctity of the courts. Soodalter’s presentation will look at examples of the three areas in which Lincoln’s pardoning power pertained – cases in the civil courts, cases involving rebellion against the government and military cases – and demonstrate that his mercy was always tempered with reason and strength and with an eye to the ultimate good of the nation whose fate lay in his hands.

Soodalter serves on the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute. He has pursued a variety of diverse careers including stints as an educator, an educator at Riker’s Island Prison and work as a museum curator. He has published two books – Hanging Captain Gordon and The Slave Next Door. Additionally, Soodalter’s articles appear frequently in magazines including the New York Times, Smithsonian, Civil War Times, Military History, New York Archives and True West.

For more information on Soodalter’s presentation or to reserve your spot, contact Kristy Bay at the main campus by phone at 423.869.7000 or by email at or Kathy Baughman at LMU-DSOL by phone at (865) 545-5340 or email her at

LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy encourages original research in the emerging field of leadership theory and practice. The Institute seeks to identify opportunities for scholars, teachers and those engaged in public service to develop and practice responsible and ethical leadership. The staff and personnel associated with the Institute strive to create a positive research environment that will stimulate and enrich a variety of research undertakings.

The Lincoln Memorial University-Duncan School of Law is located in Knoxville’s Historic Old City Hall Building. LMU-DSOL is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of lawyers to provide sound legal service in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DSOL, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 5303 or visit us online at

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