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December 31, 2007

NY commentary assails "Ebenezer Spitzer"

Especially in the wake of the clemency debate between Republican candidates Romney and and Huckabee, I found interesting this local commentary assailing New York Governor Elliot Spitzer's early clemency record.  Here is how the commentary starts:

A Quinnipiac University poll released before Christmas indicated that nearly half of New York voters—47 percent—believed that Gov. Eliot Spitzer could become a ‘kinder, gentler governor’  With Spitzer’s approval rating at it’s lowest level ever, almost two thirds of the populace dissatisfied with his job performance, Spitzer had a chance over the holidays to improve his position with the voters with the granting of executive clemencies.

But, as the scandal of Troopergate continues to dog him with allegations now surfacing that his office may have intentionally purged e-mails and subpoenas issued commanding his presence before a Senate investigations committee, Spitzer gained himself even more criticism with his failure to grant any executive clemencies this year.

Instead of improving his image and working to become a “kinder, gentler governor”, it’s was “Bah Humbug!” for Spitzer who apparently decided to be more like Ebenezer Scrooge and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, supporting the poll findings that 30 percent of voters don’t think it’s possible for Spitzer to lighten up.

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December 31, 2007 at 01:59 PM | Permalink


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Very interesting. The poster child for clemency is a woman who killed a man in a bar. The man called her racial slurs and blocked her exit from the bar, so she stabbed him in the neck.

As I read the op-ed, the reasons she should get clemency are:

1. She's black
2. She's served more than half of her sentence
3. The victim needed killin'
4. It's possible somehow that she should have been allowed to plead to manslaughter rather than be sentenced to 2d degree murder.

It's hard to tease the reasoning out of what it otherwise a rambling emotional appeal that focuses largely on 3 and tries to turn it into a sort of self-defense theory.

The author seems more concerned with namecalling (directed at Spitzer, the victim, the police, the judge, the lawyer who represented Dickson, etc.) than with making a coherent argument for why this woman should be let out of prison. She takes everything Dickson says at face value and trashes everyone else who's come within a mile of her. It could be that this woman deserves clemency, but this is one of the worst things I've read on the subject in a long time.

Posted by: | Dec 31, 2007 3:31:16 PM

w/r/t (2) above, the author of the op-ed says that "[Dickson] has now served more than half of that sentence." To the author of the op-ed, 7.5+ years is apparently half of "15 years to life."

Posted by: | Dec 31, 2007 3:34:08 PM

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