Legitimate reasons for showing leniency is a willingness on the part of an accused person to make restitution, admit guilt, enter a program of rehabilitation
Do you know how many people are pardoned each year that don't fit any of your criteria? At the end of most President's term, they pardon sometimes dozens of people that don't fit your criteria or reasons.
So, according to your answer, you really don't know why a compassionate judge would show compassion do you? You can only guess. It could be for all of the reasons that you guess at, or maybe just one, or maybe none of them. You actually have no idea do you?
Your rope-a-dope with a hypothetical judge is a deflection because you can't answer my Topic question.
Presidential pardons (any pardons, for that matter) are at the discretion of the one granting the pardon irrespective of the morality, judgement or justice involved. This is what makes, for example, President Clinton's pardons disgusting and brings shame upon his ethics.
If you are building some sort of jerry-built analogy with God here, you are forgetting that God is God ONLY by demonstration of superlative demonstration of Godliness through actions of a superlative and transcendant nature!
What makes God godly is that He is not prone to moral failure and is demonstrably above breaking his own standards for "self-betterment" since He cannot be greater than what He is.
Meaning? Meaning John 3:16 is contrary to perfection on God's part because mercy which is UNmerited is UNWORTHY mercy. Kindness which is UNdeserved is UNWORTHY kindness.
Setting criminals loose does not demonstrate goodness. It demonstrates leniency at the expense of the crimes they will go on to commit all over again.
How many countless "forgiven" humans have gone on to wreak havoc upon the world secure in the smug confidence God has "saved" them??
The wars, for example, Christendom has engaged in with God on their side stems from the feeling of superiorty of a perceived blessing of them as the "good guys." How did they become the "good guys?" These self-important jerks got "saved" without deserving it!!!
UNMERITED anything is UNDESERVED for a reason: it is inequitable and unjust, leading to countless harms in the name of God.