Monday, January 19, 2009
Check out P.S. Ruckman's PardonPower Blog here for the list of quotes by others who predicted last minute pardons. But it looks like Bush might leave with but an added two sentence commutations to his list (see here; see also Dan Eggen & Carrie Johnson, Washington Post, Bush Commutes Sentences of Ex-Agents) and without anything dramatic. But some might think that if he was going to issue last-minute pardons, the time to do it would have been after the close of the print press so that it comes on the day of other events (like an inauguration). But on the other hand, if you issue one that late, you can't try and take it back if you make a mistake (see here). Bottom line - it looks like this will be a quiet exit from office.
The pardon power is an important power of the President that needs to be used to correct injustices in the system. And it needs to be used without politics in mind. Hopefully, President-Elect Obama will be a President with compassion.