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January 3, 2008

Pardon politics and the 2008 campaign

As all political junkies breathlessly await tonights results from Iowa, I figure it is a good time to speculate about whether there will be continued attention to pardons and other clemency issues as the 2008 campaign unfolds.  Of course, the go-to place for a pardon focus is P.S. Ruckman's blog, and here has these notable recent posts focused on the Republican candidates' kerfufling over clemency issues:

Relatedly, there are some quite notable defendants whose possible pardon could readily create campaign political debates.  Lewis Libby, of course, comes to mind.  Also, as detailed in this new commentary, folks are still calling for pardons for the former Border Agents.  Here is the start of that commentary: "Before leaving the White House, President Bush should do the right thing and pardon the two Border Patrol agents who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting a fleeing drug smuggler — a case that's been called a 'prosecutorial travesty.'"  I wonder if and when during a debate the candidates will be asked if they will grant a pardon to the Border Agents if Prez Bush fails to do so before leaving office.

January 3, 2008 at 05:11 PM | Permalink


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The issue of pardons/clemencies is a lot more than meets the eye.

First, there is the long-past conviction issue with current collateral consequences.

Second, there is the issue about overreaching prosecutions or "political" crimes (e.g., Libby).

Third, there is the issue of fixing a draconian sentence unjustified by the underlying facts.

Fourth, there is the issue of people who have served a long (or short) time and the extent that they have or have not shown rehabilitation while incarcerated.

Fifth, there is the innocence/evidence of guilt undermined issue.

Sixth, there is the old prisoner issue.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 3, 2008 5:40:22 PM

Eager to have feedback/input from "professionals" in our discussion of youth sentencing (i.e. trying kids as adults) and related matters.


Posted by: Steve Salerno | Jan 3, 2008 6:08:15 PM

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