The Season of Forgiveness

Update: The Toussie pardon has been withdrawn “based on information that has subsequently come to light.” The "information" that escaped the notice of Fred Fielding appears to be the bad publicity generated by pardoning the son of a GOP donor without awaiting the outcome of the Justice Department's customary review.

original post: Our unusually unforgiving president issued a miserly 19 holiday pardons yesterday, including one given posthumously. More usefully, President Bush "commuted the life sentence of a convicted methamphetamine dealer in Iowa."

Bush has granted 190 pardons and nine commutations so far, less than half the number granted by Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, the other most recent two-term presidents.

Missing from the pardon list (so far): Scooter Libby's full pardon, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, the president himself ...

[more ...]

The White House has said it would not rule out the possibility of more pardons or commutations from Bush before he leaves office on Jan. 20.

The blog Pardon Power raises a red flag over the pardon of real estate developer Isaac Robert Toussie, the mastermind of "a massive real estate scam," whose father donated $28,500 to the RNC this year. Perhaps the president gave the meth dealer a commutation to ease his conscience (assuming he has one) over Toussie's pardon.

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  • Display: Sort:
    New Diary Up (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by scribe on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 09:27:09 PM EST
    I can't believe the guy (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 10:43:43 PM EST
    only got 5 months

    What a surprise (none / 0) (#1)
    by koshembos on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 02:50:41 PM EST
    a politically motivated pardon. Life is politics and politics is life (at least for politicians). I thought that only Clinton's pardons can be questioned; is it even legal legal to question GOP pardons?

    All pardons are political (none / 0) (#2)
    by nyjets on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:01:12 PM EST
    Lets be honest, almost all pardons are political in nature. They are either meant to pay off people or groups who made donations to there campaign, or to make a political point, like pardoning drug users. That is what make pardons somewhat distastful.

    Toussie's pardon withdrawn. (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:10:18 PM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:51:30 PM EST
    Unpardoned!  That's gotta hurt.

    Yes No Maybe (none / 0) (#9)
    by dead dancer on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 05:00:25 PM EST
    What is your favorite color?


    No no


    No no


    Georgie; can never make up his mind


    Background on the Iowa pardon... (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:14:36 PM EST
    Des Moines police said Prior had 2 pounds of methamphetamine and $17,690 in cash when he was arrested in May 1995.

    Prior, then 46, refused an offer of a lighter sentence in exchange for information about other meth dealers.

    U.S. District Judge Ronald Longstaff called the mandatory life prison sentence unjust. He begged Prior to help authorities, which would allow the judge to reduce the sentence levied under the federal "three strikes" law. That law requires a life sentence for anyone with two or more previous felony drug convictions.

    Prior was convicted in 1992 in Arizona and six years earlier in California. He has been held at a medium-security prison in Greenville, Ill.

    Prior wrote an open letter about the danger of drugs, which was distributed last year to more than 1,700 schools in California and various athletic organizations, Holliday said.

    Groups that oppose mandatory prison sentences applauded Bush's decision, but said the clemency highlights "systematic injustice" that sends low-level drug offenders to prison.

    Mandatory minimum sentences account for about 202,000 offenders in federal prisons, according to Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

    Prior and his family "will be eternally grateful for a fresh start, and, judging from past commutation grantees, he will be a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen who contributes to society," said Julie Stewart, president of the group.


    Anybody who takes life... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:25:43 PM EST
    over being a rat and a shorter sentence has some serous character in my book and is definitely worthy of a pardon, especially since he is spreading the word about the dangers of meth.

    Good call G-Dub....give us some more like this before you go....a lot more.

    PS...Have a Merry MileHi, and keep on keepin' on my brother.


    Same to you my friend! (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:29:08 PM EST
    Enjoying the smiling faces of the youngin's in your family tomorrow!!!  That's what it's all about, right?

    I just hope I can find somewhere nice that's open tomorrow so my Mom and I can enjoy a nice Christmas dinner.


    I suspect (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 04:28:20 PM EST
    How many Bush pardons will never see the light of day?

    Until four years from now when we read Libby has been CEO of some Corporation. And Abramoff has been making a "handsome living" in Corporate Jet sales.

    Was the pardon delivered then withdrawn? (none / 0) (#10)
    by hookfan on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 08:19:32 PM EST