Saturday, December 23, 2006
The White House announced the issuance of sixteen pardons and one sentence commutation on Dec. 21, just in time for the holiday season. Of the sixteen who received pardons, eleven were convicted of offenses that generally fall into the category of white collar crimes. One recipient, Mark Alan Eberwine), was convicted of perjury in connection with the tax prosecution of a co-defendant who did not report his income from methamphetamine sales, so that is arguably a drug case with the Al Capone approach used to obtain a conviction. Eberwine received the longest prison sentence of the white collar recipients, two years, while two others were sentenced to prison terms and the rest to probation. A search of Westlaw showed only one reported opinion on a defendant, Eberwine again, and none of the pardon recipients appear to be connected to notable prosecutions. The prominent name that crops up in rumors about a possible pardon is I. Lewis Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice-President Cheney, who faces perjury, false statement, and obstruction charges, but I think it is unlikely he will be considered for a pardon in advance of the criminal trial. An AP story (here) discusses the pardons.