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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by gibbz, Jan 19, 2009.
Read here. Any thoughts/opinions?
Bush has that right. I won't argue that but what the agents did was wrong.
Yep. Nothing more needs to be said. The president can do what he wants when it comes to clemency.
I agree. I think that Bush showed pretty good judgement here.
I didn't say that I agreed with the commutations, just that it's the president's right to do so.
I'm sure there are hundreds if not thousands of cases that are more deserving but let's hope he did this out of some personal sense rather than for political reasons.
same here. good job
He could have done a lot worse.
Let me get this right. These border guards shot someone in the back and tried to cover it up their actions. They were found guilty under the legal system in your country. And the president can decide to overturn it all? Seems pretty screwed up to me.
Well, he didn't really overturn the convictions. They claimed that they were acting in self-defense or in defense of our border to stop known drug smugglers. Bush did not pardon them on their charges -- he thought they got a fair trial and that while doing their jobs they did things wrong. He commuted the sentence, indicating that he thought the 10-year sentence was excessive.
Surely this is up to the legal system and precedent to decide? Not a politician .
It's a long tradition here that the President can bestow clemency upon whom he chooses. Out of political expediency, most commutations and overturned convictions are granted at the very end of a president's term in office. It's become somewhat of a circus as some are purely political in nature and the president's desk is flooded with requests after the election in November.
+1. And as I understand it, once done it cannot be challenged or overturned by anyone -- meaning the President has absolute power in this matter.
There is more to this one, why was the U.S. govt so eager to back and get behind this drug dealer? we arent getting the whole story here. This guy they shot was doing something the govt knew about. What it is I dont know but we are missing something in this story. Bush could have let these guys off a long time ago. I think the govt was working with this dealer and knew just what he was doing.
I think the President can revoke it, but probably within a certain timeframe. Didn't that already happen in the not-too-distant past?
How on earth did this tradition start? Surely it's an injustice if people are chosen for clemency on political grounds when others who are incarcerated for similar/the same crimes still do the time. Surely justice should be equal for all and not something that is vulnerable to political whim. I wonder if our politicians wield similar power.
That should be worrying.
It means the President is above the law sort of speaking as long as he doesnt piss off whatever party is running congress at the moment. Hence Bush and getting us into Iraq. The Law in the U.S. is a facade.
It wasn't liked from the very beginning but the Federalists were all behind it. They were sort of like the Republicans of today.
It's constitutional also.
No conspiracy by the Gov't here. These guys just shot the drug dealer in the back when he was running back to the border. Then to cover it up. They stashed the casings knowing they would get busted for shooting someone in the back.
It's roots are actually from the days of the Bloody Code (aka British criminal law during the 1600s, 1700s, and early 1800s). During that era, The Crown and royal governors had the power to pardon or grant leniency to criminals. The Colonies had carried this tradition at the time (all 13 governors at the time of Independence had this power) and so it was applied to the Federal executive as well.
I think the original pardon power was intended to serve as a safeguard against the judiciary since each branch is intended to have a few checks against the others.
In the modern day it's really become an increasingly difficult tradition to defend, but we have to remember that 51 American executives, while having the power to do political evil with this power, can also do good (limiting the use of capital punishment and other inhumane practices).
By and large, American criminal law is also political law. Judges are political appointees, the law is written by political elected and motivated individuals, and in the state court systems, judges and prosecutors are both voted in or affirmed by the public.
I was glad to see Bush commute the sentences rather than pardon them. After all, they did try and cover up what they did.
Some interesting figures I came across.
George H.W. Bush pardoned only 75 people, but I found looking at the list on Wikipedia really interesting.
Besides Nixon, Gerald Ford also pardoned Robert E. Lee, the Confederate General, and Iva Toguri D'Aquino. Torguri was one of the women who acted as "Tokyo Rose" an amalgamation of women who worked on the Japanese propaganda radio shows. She was convicted of treason in 1949.
Ford pardoned Lee? I thought Lincoln (or was it Johnson) pardoned Confederate soldiers during the reconstruction?
Good thing he doesn't have any power outside of the USA!!!
And restored his citizenship. I think it was an accident it hadn't been done before. Lee wasn't a bad guy, even if he felt compelled by duty to fight for the wrong side.