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July 4, 2019

Imagining an Independence Day in which Governors and the President compete to use their clemency powers to enhance liberty and freedom

I was pleased my news feed this morning included this local article from Arkansas headlined "Gov. Hutchinson announces pardons for 10 people."   Here are the details from the article:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday that he will grant pardons to 10 people, including two from right here in the Mid-South.

Larry Smith of Marion was convicted on felony drug and misdemeanor assault charges in Crittenden County in 2005.  Wayne Wilson of Gosnell was convicted in 1971 and 1995 on burglary, petit larceny and first-degree assault in Mississippi County.  In both cases the applicants have completed their jail sentences, fulfilled all parole requirements and paid all fines connected to their cases.

Theodis Akins of Hampton, Virginia; Shakeylla Allen of Alexander; Miranda Jones Childers of Charlotte; John Dougan of North Little Rock; LaToya Hopson of Hot Springs; Rommie McDaniel of Bradford;Pierre Newman of Little Rock; and Robert Seay III will also receive a pardon, Hutchinson said

I often use Independence Day as an opportunity to encourage everyone to think about Americans who could benefit from more liberty -- see, e.g., Hey Prez Trump, how about honoring Independence Day by using your clemency power to give some more Americans more liberty? and  "What to the American imprisoned is the Fourth of July?" -- and this news out of Arkansas got me to imagining an America in which Governors and the President compete to enhance freedom through all sorts of clemency grants.  In a country in which we have managed to make a July 4th tradition of eating hot dogs and competing over who can eat the most hot dogs, I do not think it is such a bad idea to imagine competition around enhancing freedom on the day we celebrate out country's declaration about the importance of freedom.

July 4, 2019 at 03:32 PM | Permalink


An excellent start would be pardoning people who didn't actually do whatever they were convicted of. The number of cases where this is proven, and nothing is done about it, is sickening.

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jul 6, 2019 10:25:40 PM

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