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December 21, 2005

A new round of Bush pardons

Thanks to this post at TalkLeft, I see that President Bush, just in time for holidays, has granted a new set of pardons.  Details about the eleven individuals receiving the pardons and their crimes and sentences are available in this press release.  Notably, more than half of these pardons are for crimes committed about forty years ago or longer.

Interestingly, three of the five pardons for more recent crimes go to persons convicted and sentences of drug dealing during the 1980s (and the drug being dealt in two of these cases was cocaine, while marijuana was involved in the other case).  Along with Jeralyn at TalkLeft, I cannot help but wonder whether some special connections explain why these three particular drug dealers were the beneficiaries of pardons.  (It should be recalled, however, as TalkLeft noted here that four of the persons receiving pardons in the last round of pardons were also drug offenders.)

This newspaper article from Colorado provides more details about Wendy St. Charles, who received a pardon from her 1984 conviction "for conspiracy to conduct a narcotics enterprise and distribution of cocaine."  The article details that St. Charles is now a "licensed attorney who works for MDC Holdings, Inc., the largest Denver-based home-building firm" and that "Larry Mizel, chair of the MDC Holdings Inc., and his wife, Carol, are major supporters of the Republican Party and its candidates."

Related posts discussing previous batches of pardons from President Bush:

December 21, 2005 at 09:55 AM | Permalink


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» Bush Pardons Denver Lawyer, a Cocaine Offender from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
President Bush has granted a pardon to a former drug offender and current Denver lawyer, Wendy St. Charles. A Denver lawyer was pardoned Tuesday by President Bush for drug-related crimes she committed more than two decades ago. Wendy St. Charles,... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 21, 2005 2:24:51 PM


I'm an old, retired lady in Florida just passing through from TalkLeft. I'd like to know how this works. Who brings the names to the President? Who makes recommendations that they should be pardoned?


Posted by: Joyce Morrison | Dec 21, 2005 6:24:07 PM

Joyce: Anyone convicted of a federal crime, or even facing federal charges, can apply to the President for clemency. Presidential clemency can take the form of a complete pardon, commutation of a sentence which has not been completed, or reprieve (delay of a death sentence to allow further appeals). Pres. Bush has not commuted any excessive sentences that are still being served, as prior presidents sometimes did. He has only given pardons, and then mostly for relatively old cases where the sentence was already served in full. People apply by filling out a rather detailed application and submitting it to the Office of Pardon Attorney in the U.S. Dept. of Justice. (The rules and application are posted on the DoJ website, if you want to look at them.) The Pardon Attorney then makes recommendations to the President. A more or less similar process exists in each state for state convictions, where clemency is sought from the Governor.

Posted by: Peter G | Dec 21, 2005 11:58:15 PM

Peter: Thanks very much for the clear explanation. I'll go look at the DOJ web site.

Posted by: Joyce Morrison | Dec 22, 2005 11:18:26 AM

You know, if i was a cynic, i'd almost be inclined to say there's a connection between those who received Dubya's pardons and those who A) are now connected to Bush's republican party, or B) went down for coke use and/or distribution, or C) both. Not that i would insinuate anything about our snow-loving president, by any means...nor would i imply that the R's are anything less than the paragons of virtue they claim to be - what with being the family values party, and all... - but it just strikes me as somehow....convenient. that's all. and only if i were a cynic...

Posted by: buckeyelawguy | Dec 22, 2005 5:14:25 PM

i am a person who has a lovedone doing 20 yrs in federal prison. for a nonviolent crime.

Posted by: lisa harrison | Dec 22, 2005 8:35:49 PM

Bush pardoned the drug dealers because they're part of the larger picture. Drug dealers, politicians, and pet projects here are making tens of millions off of the war on drugs.

The war on drugs in Afghanistan has in part financed Osama bin Laden.

George Bush is using Osama bin Laden to further his reign. Osama is keeping the Republicans in power, being funded by Enron, and imprisoning Democratic hopefuls in Guantanamo!

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