Why was clemency trending last week?
hot-rodders' slang, 1952, perhaps from peel "blade or wash of an oar" (1875, American English), earlier "shovel-shaped instrument" (see peel (n.2). Or it might be from aircraft pilot phrase peel off "veer away from formation" (World War II), or from earlier American English slang peel it "run away at full speed" (1860).
(also peel rubber or peel wheels)To leave quickly; split
[1950s+ Hot rodders; fr the notion of peeling off the tread of a tire]