Sunday, July 8, 2007

Libby Commutation - A Shift in Bush's Policy

President Bush has clearly revised his policy on commutation, as the Libby case does not fit the usual criteria he designed for determining eligibility.  Check out Adam Liptak's article in the N.Y. Times titled "For Libby, Bush Seemed to Alter his Texas Policy, a piece that describes Bush's pre-Libby criteria for commutation. And also check out Doug Berman's Sentencing Law and Policy Blog that makes you wonder how President Bush traveled from Point A to this new Point Z..  And finally you read Professor Tim Floyd's (Mercer University Law School) incredible letter in the Wall Street Jrl Blog, as reprinted from the Legal Ethics Blog that says it all - Bush clearly did not follow his own criteria in issuing this sentence (this letter is a must-read).   

So why is Libby different? The public certainly is not happy with this decision (see CNN Poll) What does he know that every other person who received an "excessive sentence" and is facing appeal, not know? Is this plain politics and/or just helping a friend?  Or is this a reverse cooperation situation?  I guess the timing of this commutation still seems bizarre, and especially now that one sees his prior policy on commutation (see here). Perhaps the answers will be explained if Libby decides to write a book.


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The suggestion that an individual grant of clemency is in any way related to sentencing policy is as odd as it is trendy (for now). In response to a recent letter to the Chicago Tribune, making the same mistake, I have written this:

Posted by: P.S. Ruckman, Jr. | Aug 14, 2007 10:34:51 AM

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