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July 2, 2007

When Is a Pardon Not a Pardon? (OT)

Filed under: Bill Bickel, crime, Crimeweek, George Bush, pardons, Scooter Libby — Cidu Bill @ 7:44 pm
  • “I respect the jury’s verdict; but I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison” -President Bush, redefining the word “respect” (article)
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21 Comments »

  1. How is this redefining “respect”? The jury’s verdict stands, it’s only the Judge’s sentence that’s changing.

    Comment by William Matheny — July 2, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

  2. I don’t like Bush!

    Asher Heimermann
    http://www.LeftWingKid.com

    Comment by Asher Heimermann — July 2, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

  3. William has a point; Bush didn’t say he respected the judge’s sentence, after all.

    Comment by Powers — July 2, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

  4. In the official statement Bush also said “Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable.”

    Ignoring the irony of of who is credited with saying this. Bush has once again shown that he says accountable, but what he means is we can do anything we want and are above the law. During the Clinton debacle we were told that lying under oath was a horrendous crime worthy of impeachment — but apparently that only counts if you are lying about sex.

    Comment by Nicole — July 2, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  5. So — do yo think they HAD to pardon Scooter or he would sing ??? Just another thought

    Comment by Nicole — July 2, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  6. William, the reason Bush’s action didn’t respect the jury is that they found Libby guilty of offenses that called for a certain level of punishment. Reducing the punishment to a fine (apparently well under what Libby’s supporters have already raised on his behalf) and probation (he’d better not lie and obstruct a federal investigation again if he knows what’s good for him) makes the verdict meaningless.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 2, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

  7. “William, the reason Bush’s action didn’t respect the jury is that they found Libby guilty of offenses that called for a certain level of punishment.”

    Bill, I must disagree here. I’ve sat on enough juries to know that a) they never tell you the potiential level of punishment, and b) juries are specifically instructed not to consider potiential punishments in their deliberations. Except in capital cases, the sentence is strictly the perview of the judge.

    Comment by William Matheny — July 2, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  8. This may be true, William, but I somehow doubt the jurors felt respected by having sat there listening to testimony, deliberating, deciding Libby was guilty, and then seeing him receive no punishment.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 2, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

  9. One commentator made a good point. Bush should have reduced Libby’s fine to $50,000. That just happens to be the same amount Sandy “Socks” Berger received for stealing and destroying classified documents and lying about it to investigators.

    Comment by DSkinner — July 3, 2007 @ 8:16 am

  10. This is disrespectful to the office of the president and the American people. In a country where you have a teen in Douglassville, GA jailed for 10 years for getting a blowjob( http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/LegalCenter/Story?id=1693362&page=1 ), I’m disgusted by the us of the term “excessive”. Just goes to show there is still a different justice system for rich white men as opposed to young poor black males.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/stories/2007/06/11/0611wilson.html
    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2007/06/27/0627metwilson.html

    Comment by Cedric — July 3, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  11. All 397 Pardons granted by President Clinton (1993-2001)
    http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clintonpardon_grants.htm#november231994

    All 62 Commutations granted by President Clinton (1993-2001)
    http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clinton_comm.htm

    Use your own judgment as to what level of offense deserves a pardon or a commutation.

    Comment by someone — July 3, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

  12. And today (Tuesday), Bush announced that he won’t rule out granting Libby a full pardon.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 3, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

  13. It IS executive interference in a judicial matter, but constitutionally allowed, alas. What makes it seem seedier than your average Presidential pardon is that (A) it’s not hard to imagine how Scooter may have told the lies for which he was convicted specifically to protect Cheney or even Bush himself – hence it seems a bit like Bush pardoning himself (B) It’s also not hard to imagine that Bush feared that a sufficiently unhappy (i.e. incarcerated) Libby might be motivated to talk about some things he shouldn’t.

    Comment by Brian Leahy — July 3, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

  14. Yes, DSSkinner, that is a “good point.” Every time Republican corruption is uncovered, we should stop and reminisce about every bad thing a Democrat has done in the last 100 years. That way we will understand that when the leaders of our government engage in a conspiracy to out a covert agent and endanger our national security, it’s no big deal.

    BTW, Libby’s not going to have to pay $50,000, let alone $250,000; that’ll be covered by the conservative donations to his defense.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — July 4, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  15. I didn’t mention every bad thing a Democratic has done in the last 100 years. Just one thing within the last five years.

    Plame was not covert and Fitzfong knew the name of the leaker, Armitage, before the trial started.

    Comment by DSkinner — July 4, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  16. More excellent points, DSkinner. I agree, I also think that Plame was not covert. In fact, I don’t even think she’s a person at all! I think she’s a bear wearing a funny mask! So what’s all the fuss about? However, I have to disagree with your implication that Armitage might have been one of the many leakers; everyone knows that the leakers were all magical Leprechauns. Excuse me, magical Democrat Leprechauns.

    Redefining reality is fun!

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — July 4, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  17. The nature of Plame’s job is not relevant. Who did or did not leak what information is not relevant. The problem here is lying to investigators in a federal investigation and obstructing justice, and not being held accountable.

    And the hypocrisy of Libby being supported by so many of the same people who wanted Clinton impeached for lying about Monica.

    But my own feeling all along was that this is politics-as-usual. My personal gripe was with Bush’s profession of respect for the jury.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 4, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  18. My personal gripe was with Bush’s profession of respect for the jury.

    Bill Clinton granted 391 Petitions for Pardon and 61 for Clemency. I wonder if any of those jurors feel disrespected? And if so, would you be equally gripe ridden? Oh, wait – it could be that Clinton never expressed his respect for any jury.

    Comment by William Matheny — July 4, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

  19. Actually, William, yes: From the start, it was the disingenuous affirmation of respect for the jury that annoyed me.

    Also, of course, none of Clinton’s pardons were for crimes committed on the behest of the administration.

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 4, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

  20. Also, of course, none of Clinton’s pardons were for crimes committed on the behest of the administration.

    Really? You don’t think Susan McDougal’s pardon had anything to do with covering the collective Clinton backside?

    You must also think that pardoning Marc Rich and Pincus Green had no connection to million dollar contributions to the Clinton Library from Mrs. Marc Rich.

    Comment by William Matheny — July 5, 2007 @ 2:15 am

  21. Then let’s just stick with “All politicians are crooked but ‘I respect the jury’ just really, really pissed me off”

    Comment by Cidu Bill — July 5, 2007 @ 2:18 am


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