Mercy, like charity, has been socialised in the western world and is not a virtue as it is normally practiced.
When the government forcibly takes money from taxpayers and doles it out to whom it pleases the virtue of charity has been removed. Neither the true giver nor the receiver benefit. Those that support this redistribution deceive themselves thinking that they are generous.
Similarly, when the government doles out light punishments to whom it pleases the virtue of mercy has been removed. Neither the victim nor the offender benefit. Those that support light sentences deceive themselves thinking that they are merciful.
Of course, true mercy is a virtue but that comes from the victims of injustice.