Thursday, June 7, 2007
From LATimes.com: Specialist in executive clemency and restoration of rights, sentencing and corrections policy, and legal and government ethics Margaret Love recently wrote an opinion piece in the LA Times concerning the possibility of Bush pardoning Libby. Here is an excerpt:
"As speculation grows about whether President Bush will pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, or at least commute his prison sentence, it's important to remember the hundreds of ordinary people who have been patiently standing in line, some for many years, waiting for presidential forgiveness. In a sense, it is these largely anonymous applicants for executive clemency (of which pardon and commutation are subsets) who hold the key to the president's ability to help the well-connected Mr. Libby.
This is not so much a matter of fairness as it is of political common sense.
Many of those with pending applications for clemency were convicted long ago of garden-variety crimes and have fully served their time; many others are still serving lengthy mandatory prison terms from which there is no hope of parole (parole having been eliminated from federal sentencing).
One such applicant is my client, Willie Mays Aikens, whose addiction to crack cocaine ruined a brilliant major league baseball career and who is now in the 13th year of a 20-year prison term for selling drugs to an undercover policewoman — an extraordinarily harsh sentence for a relatively minor, nonviolent drug offense.
There are countless others in similar positions. If the president is unwilling to look favorably on deserving applicants for clemency like Aikens, how can he justify helping Libby?" Rest of Article. . . Love's Blog. . . [Mark Godsey]