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November 1, 2008


Presidential pardons: Not just for turkeys

I beg your pardon

While you should have had plenty of opportunities to guess the winner of the Presidential election, or forecast the state of the senate, November 5th marks the beginning of the Lame Duck Pardon Season. Between November 5th and January 19th we can expect to see President Bush get busy with the pardoning. Time helps us out with a list of the 10 most notorious presidential pardons in history, the list includes Marc Rich, Richard Nixon, George Steinbrenner, Jimmy Hoffa and Vietnam draft dodgers. A Times article from this summer fills us in on some of the folks requesting clemency from the President, including runner Marion Jones, and the so-called American Taliban John Walker Lindh. If Obama wins, Bush will probably feel free to pardon whoever he likes. Some possibilities:

Scooter Libby- remember, W only commuted his sentence, he could actually pardon him, which would allow him to get his law license back.
Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Republican congressman who pled guilty to accepting massive bribes.
Newly convicted Ted Stevens, especially if he somehow gets re-elected.

Let us know in the comments who you think George Bush will pardon in his final days. Jack Abramoff? Former Illinois governor George Ryan? Martha Stewart? Jeff Skilling?

Don't forget, Presidents can also issue pre-emptive pardons for people who haven't been charged yet, so he may go ahead and pardon Dick Cheney and himself (self-pardoning power is still a grey area).

categories: Politics
posted by Cushie at 4:12 PM | #

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Prediction: OJ.

Pardoning Jeff Skilling and Jack Abramoff would take some kind of chutzpah. But I guess if Obama wins, there won't be much point in maintaining gestures of anti-corruption.

Posted by: Amy at November 1, 2008 6:04 PM

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