Here is some information on the historical nature of pardons in the U.S. One particular quote from Alexander Hamilton stands out:
"The criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. As the sense of responsibility is always strongest, in proportion as it is undivided, it may be inferred that a single man would be most ready to attend to the force of those motives which might plead for a mitigation of the rigor of the law, and least apt to yield to considerations which were calculated to shelter a fit object of its vengeance. The reflection that the fate of a fellow-creature depended on his sole fiat, would naturally inspire scrupulousness and caution; the dread of being accused of weakness or connivance, would beget equal circumspection, though of a different kind."
Pay particular attention to the last sentence. Just goes to show you that the founding fathers, while extremely aware of human nature, still could not conceive of the depths to which our current politicians have fallen.
BTW, I could not see Ron Paul giving out such pardons.