I noticed today that President Bush granted 14 pardons & commuted 2 sentences. (See MSNBC news link.) That's fine. He has the prerogative. And he doesn't have to answer to anyone for it, either.
Here is the list:
_Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo. She was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
_Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.
_Richard Micheal Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill., who was convicted of making false statements to the federal government.
_Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer of Fort Worth, Texas, for reporting or helping cover up a crime.
_Andrew Foster Harley of Falls Church, Va. Harley was convicted of wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine.
_Obie Gene Helton of Rossville, Ga., whose offense was unauthorized acquisition of food stamps.
_Carey C. Hice Sr. of Travelers Rest, S.C., who was convicted of income tax evasion.
_Geneva Yvonne Hogg of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted of bank embezzlement.
_William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced for making false entries, books, reports or statements to a bank.
_Paul Julian McCurdy of Sulphur, Okla., who was sentenced for misapplication of bank funds.
_Robert Earl Mohon Jr. of Grant, Ala., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
_Ronald Alan Mohrhoff of Los Angeles, who was convicted for unlawful use of a telephone in a narcotics felony.
_Daniel Figh Pue III of Conroe, Texas, convicted of illegal treatment, storage and disposal of a hazardous waste without a permit.
_Orion Lynn Vick of White Hall, Ark., who was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government property.
Bush also commuted the prison sentences of John Edward Forte of North Brunswick, N.J., and James Russell Harris of Detroit, Mich. Both were convicted of cocaine offenses.
But then there is the case of Troy Davis.
The guy was convicted of killing a policeman in 1989 but there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime & no murder weapon was found. There were 9 witnesses who said Davis did it, but 7 of them have since recanted claiming police intimidation. They also contend that another man did it, who is, ironically, one of the other 2 witnesses against Davis.
Davis admits he was there & was basically a thug. But he denies killing the cop.
If the guy were put on trial today with the current slate of witnesses, he would be acquitted. Yet, he is still on death row now?
This is why we don't execute people immediately: we need to give time to exhaust every possible chance to save a life. We value liberty that much.
But in Davis' case, the system seems to be out for revenge instead of justice.
Presidential pardons are usually done out of connections or politics or both. I really don't care how they are done or why. I do care about justice. If anyone deserves to at least have the death sentence commuted, it is Troy Davis.
Wonder if Troy Davis had any heavy duty election campaign donors in his family? I'm just sayin'.
Here's a NY Times article on Davis.
Here's the Wiki link.