I guess Bush had nothing to lose with his polls being at an all-time low, but it is curious that the only time he makes a declaration that punishment in a case is excessive is when it involves a former member of his administration. He fails to understand that his decision makes it difficult for those of us on the front line to justify punishments to juries in other cases.
with bush's approval ratings so low, it's perhaps more likely that people will continue to think that a greater punishment was deserved and that bush's communtation was the incorrect outcome.
now nifong, on the other hand, probably has more potential to make things difficult for prosecutors.
The President has commuted the prison portion of Libby's sentence. To make it look somewhat legit he states that Libby is still on the hook for probation and the big fine. My question is what if Libby says I'm not doing ANYTHING on probation (No reporting, no community service, nothing). Wouldn't the judge be barred from sending him to prison in a motion to revoke his probation (whatever the feds call it)??? Seems like Libby is completely off the hook except for all them lawyer fees. Any thoughts?
Don't know, but I predict he gets a full pardon in Bush's last week in office.
You don't hear much about commutations. You mostly hear about executive pardons. For the background on a commutation, we go to Wickipedia, the finest in legal resources.
Before we all run off proclaiming that Bush is the only president to make a controversial pardon/clemency decision, check out this list of persons pardoned by presidents.
[This message was edited by JB on 07-03-07 at .]
[This message was edited by JB on 07-03-07 at .]
It seems to me that President Bush simply brought a partial political end to a political prosecution.
The real question is why Mr. Fitzgerald was even questioning Mr. Libbey when he already knew that Richard Armitage was the source of the Robert Novak column.
I'd rather he gave him a full pardon outright instead of this half-measure business. I'd also rather he put a stop to the prosecution at the outset. The problem I have with this whole thing is the same problem I had with the Clinton impeachment. They were both politically motivated prosecutions that ultimately resulted in pressing charges for a crime that was created out of the investigation, not discovered by it. It wasted everyone's time, damaged everyone's view of prosecution, and seems to foster a vendetta mentality instead of redressing wrongs.
A pox on both your houses.
While these prosecutions all have a political element to them, the Libby investigation involved a Republican congress, Republican President, and a Republican appointee as the special prosecutor. President Clinton was the very definition of a completely partisan investigation with Ken Starr, a Republican appointee. Republicans seem to initiate all these special prosecutors.
And JB, all Presidential Pardons or commutations are almost always political "thank you's". Some founding father thought it was a good idea. Guess it should remain that way.
I'm also sick and tired of these turkeys being pardoned year after year (in November)!
[This message was edited by SAProsecutor on 07-03-07 at .]
Here is a posting from www.cato-at-liberty.org of some commutations or pardons that President Bush might want to consider, given his new emphasis on the harshness of punishments.
"President Bush has pushed the envelope of every aspect of executive power, except for two that might ease the burden of government, the veto and the pardon. Now he�s threatening to protect the taxpayers with his veto pen, and he�s just discovered his power to pardon or commute the sentences of people convicted of crimes. Whether Scooter Libby was an appropriate recipient of a commutation is subject to much debate.
"But there are plenty of other people who deserve presidential pardons or commutations. Families Against Mandatory Minimums has highlighted a number of good cases here:
Mandy Martinson � 15 years for helping her boyfriend count his drug-dealing money.
DeJarion Echols � 20 years for selling a small amount of crack and owning a gun, causing Reagan-appointed federal judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. to say, �This is one of those situations where I�d like to see a congressman sitting before me.�
Weldon Angelos � 55 years for minor marijuana and gun charges, causing the George W. Bush-appointed judge Paul Cassell, previously best known for pressing the courts to overturn the Miranda decision, to call the mandatory sentence in this case �unjust, cruel, and even irrational.�
Anthea Harris � 15 years when members of her husband�s drug ring received sentence reductions to testify against her, although she had not been directly involved in the business.
"A compassionate conservative should also use the pardon power to head off the DEA�s war against doctors who help patients alleviate pain. He could start by pardoning Dr. Ronald McIver, sentenced to 30 years for prescribing Oxycontin and other drugs to patients in severe pain. Or Dr. William Hurwitz of Virginia, sentenced to 25 years but then granted a retrial, convicted again, and awaiting sentencing, which could still be 10 years.
"Commute these sentences, Mr. President."
Commute THIS, Mr. President.
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