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June 10, 2005

More (minor) pardons from President Bush

With all the appellate fireworks this week (see, e.g., here and here), I missed the news that President Bush granted seven pardons earlier this week.  The basic details can be found in this AP account and this DOJ press release, but Ellen Podgor has the real scoop in this post over at the White Collar Crime Prof Blog.  She notes:

[F]our out of seven of the pardons granted are clearly white collar and six out of seven could very well be. What can also be said about these pardons is that they are relatively minor offenses (exception perhaps the one drug offense and the conspiracy to commit mail fraud), and that just looking at the names — men seem to be the major recipients of the pardons. 

Also, in this post over at RedState.org, Buckland comments on the "extreme randomness of the pardons," and then asks: "If it's a good thing to pardon 30 year old, minor, federal crimes then we should do it for all. Why this gang of 7?"  Over at Blogcritics.org, this posts raises similar questions.

Late last year, when President Bush issues a similar set of pardons, this blog and some others buzzed about Bush's stingy pardon practices.  Here are some of the earlier posts on this interesting topic:

June 10, 2005 at 10:04 AM | Permalink


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One of the pardoned men was politically connected. Michael McLaughlin of Bedford, who was sentenced in August 1983, served 19 months in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, a crime he admitted committing in connection with a real-estate scandal. McLaughlin, a lawyer and a partner in the Capitol Insights lobbying group, had filed a pardon petition in 2000. He said he had no idea how it "got to the top of the pile." He had some help. According to a spokesman for the Justice Department, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, state Sen. Peter Burling, D-Cornish, and the now-retired federal sentencing judge, Martin F. Loughlin, were listed as character witnesses on the pardon petition.

Also, an interesting note: because he had been disbarred as a result of the conviction, in 1995 he successfully applied for re-admission to the bar. Former state Republican Party Chairman John Stabile, a builder in Nashua, hired him to be general manager of the Passaconaway Country Club in Litchfield. Stabile was part-owner. Earlier this year, the owners of the Lakes Region Greyhound Park, a client of the Capitol Insights lobbying group, gave up their racing license, decided to shut down and sell the track. Attorney General Kelly Ayotte reported that greyhound track executives and employees operated an illegal gambling operation out of the track through a limited liability corporation called International Players Association. McLaughlin was listed on state documents as the registered agent for IPA. Ayotte's report came after two IPA executives who were also Lakes Region Greyhound executives were indicted on illegal gambling conspiracy charges in a web that also allegedly included organized crime figures. But McLaughlin was not accused of any wrongdoing. McLaughlin said he and Capitol Insights partner Rick Newman continue to represent Lakes Region Greyhound general partner Allan Hart, who is selling the track to a group headed by Laconia developer David Johnston.

All information was gleaned from the pages of the Union Leader. Jeff

Posted by: Jeff | Jun 10, 2005 3:40:06 PM

I was convicted of burglary and theft at the age of 18 for stealing beer and cigarettes(Felony). If under the age 21 I'm considered a minor(not an adult) for possession of beer but can be held accountable the rest of my adult life for the theft of it. Where is the justice in this!!! Is this a double standard? Anyone want to answer this question?

Posted by: no name | Jul 3, 2005 4:07:35 AM

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