« Martha Stewart reforming | Main | Sister Prejean powerful perspective »

December 22, 2004

More pardon buzz

The blogsphere continues to buzz about President Bush's approach to pardons.  Crime & Federalism refutes here some arguments that have been made in the comments to this post cconcerning Bush's stingy approach to the pardon power.  And White Collar Crime Prof Blog thoughtfully discusses here the fact that most of Bush's recent pardons have been of white-collar offenders.

Meanwhile, in blogsphere comments, some have urged listing "specific individuals that truly deserve a pardon."  As detailed in this Chicago Tribune article, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has done just that by urging President Bush to pardon six Army reservists from Ohio who were court-martialed for taking equipment to carry out their mission in Iraq.

UPDATE: Chris Geidner at De Novo here wonders what all the Bush pardon bashing hopes to achieve, as he righly suggests President Bush is unlikely to be shamed into granting more pardons.  However, ever the optimist, I think it would be an important achievement (which would eventually have tangible consequences) to shift the political rhetoric around pardons and clemencies so that all chief executives — the President and state governors — see that an inappropriate failure to use this historic power is just as subject to criticism as the inappropriate use of this power. 

Moreover, I continue to hope that all the popular and political conversations about moral values and family values will come to focus on the moral and family harms that can be inflicted by overuse of our criminal justice system and incarceration.  President Bush continues to lay claim to being a compassionate conservative, and in his 2004 State of the Union address Bush called America "the land of second chance."  Through a more robust use of the pardon power, President Bush could start walking the walk, in addition to just talking the talk, about compassion and second chances.

December 22, 2004 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200d83421f87f53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More pardon buzz:

» Pardon Me, But Now I Understand from De Novo
Last week, I asked Professors Berman and Kerr why they were expending energies criticizing President Bush's rare use of the pardon power and whether they thought anything good would come of it. Berman responded that he: hope[s] that all the... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 28, 2004 4:10:55 AM

» Pardon Me, But Now I Understand from De Novo
Last week, I asked Professors Berman and Kerr why they were expending energies criticizing President Bush's rare use of the pardon power and whether they thought anything good would come of it. Berman responded that he: hope[s] that all the... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 28, 2004 4:13:16 AM

Comments

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB