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Rec this thread if you agree it's time to end the practice of Presidential pardons.

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:24 PM
Original message
Rec this thread if you agree it's time to end the practice of Presidential pardons.
If nobody is above the law in America, why don't we end this practice?

What would it take?

:shrug:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Believe it or not, there are people that have been wrongly convicted
of crimes and pardons/clemency are their only hope.

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I agree
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. That's not the intent of a pardon.
The courts have ruled that acceptance of a pardon constitutes admission of guilt.

The problem of wrongful convictions should and could be solved in ways other than giving the executive such overarching powers.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. It is not overreaching - it is in the constitution and for a reason.
Political prosecutions - this admin has convicted far too many that are political prisoners. Would Seigleman accept a full pardon do you think?

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iconicgnom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
31. OMFG. You think, like, the chimp shoud decide these cases. You see justice in this.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. No, I see justice when Obama is allowed to review the political
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 02:43 AM by merh
prosecutions that have been had under the Bush admin, to include but limited to, the Seigelman conviction.

There is an old maxim you may want to keep in mind "It's better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer."

There are innocent people that are suffering now because of GWB's abuses, to continue to punish them is wrong.
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iconicgnom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. "There are innocent people that are suffering now because of GWB's abuses,
to continue to punish them is wrong."

That argument is effing abusive.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. At least I provide an argument. You post nonsense
and trash.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Can I unrec and make it a -1 to begin with?
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. No,
but you can make your case for pardons. :shrug:
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
32. Me too.
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. re:
"and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."

Article 2, Section 2, Constitution. I personally think it probably grants too much authority to the president, but it's such a pain to get an amendment that I don't see one for as established a tradition as this one.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Yes, bummer, I know.
Maybe Congress could condemn the practice and it could be reduced to a very rare exercise by executive choice?
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bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
21. Restrict it to persons convicted of a crime.
The extension of the pardon by Gerald Ford to cover crimes that "may have been committed" in the Nixon case is what really destabilized the system. Get a case before the Supreme Court, and get a ruling that it only applies to persons who have been convicted of a crime. At least that way the courts can make the crime and its details public, and the public at large can make a judgment about the use of the pardon. No amendment involved in this, it's the common-sense definition of a pardon, and it destroys the John Yoo basis for putting the president outside the rule of law.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's a last-ditch firewall against injustice
Yes, it's been abused throughout US history, but losing it would be more dangerous than keeping it is.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. In your assessment, has it been used more
to achieve justice or injustice?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. More to achieve injustice -- just like the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt
Both have been used to achieve monstrous injustices, and both are worth it.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Jan 21 1977 Jimmy Carter grants unconditional pardon
to everyone who violated the draft laws.

Draft Law Violators - During the entire Vietnam War, 209,517 young men were formally accused of violating draft laws. Government officials estimate that another 360,000 were never formally accused. Of the former group, 25,000 indictments were handed down; 8,750 were convicted; and just under 4,000 served jail time.

...

In 1977, President Carter established two programs to assist war resisters. In January of 1977 he declared an unconditional amnesty for draft resisters, both accused and those who could face possible prosecution. Later that year, he set up the two stage "pardon" process for military absentees.

http://www.afsc.org/Youth&Militarism/ht/display/Content...

It is vital to the democratic process that the excesses of prior administrations can be redressed through executive order by subsequent administrations.

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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #17
40. I'd like to rec this reply! nt
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. people wrongly convicted
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:32 PM by undergroundpanther
Don't usually get pardons it is usually criminal buddies the president lets off the hook.

It's not some black guy who was at the wrong place wrong time, or some 20 year old caught with a little too much pot the president bothers to pardon..

I think presidential pardons should end NOW.I reccomended this thread.

Let the courts work if you think they are insufficient well ,what would you replace it with?
Just set all the prisoners free and let sociopaths kill anyone they want , let the corporate criminals rob their employees blind,and rapists rape and traffickers traffick? All because there are a few innocents wrongly in jail?
You can't have it both ways.
Look at WHO bush is pardoning. It's his criminal cronies.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. so all those vietnam war draft evaders were Jimmy Carter's "criminal buddies"?
And Carter pardoned Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary), probably cause he was sleeping with him, don't you think? And he pardoned Jefferson Davis, who also was one of Jimmy's buddies, despite having died 35 years before Carter was born, while Gerry Ford pardoned Robert E. Lee, whom he met at a seance.

Then there was Ronald Reagan pardoning Junior Johnson, the famed stock car driver and endorser of Barack Obama.

And Bill Clinton pardoned Patty Hearst after she only received a commutation from Carter. Must've been because she didn't let Jimmy get past second base, but let Bill go all the way. Ford pardoned Robe


There were over 20,000 instances of clemency and pardons during the 20th century. And you have some evidence that they "usually" were given to criminal buddies of the president? It would be interesting to see.

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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
11. Recommendations are earned, not begged
Oh, and I disagree with you. There are times when pardons are the only route left for citizens.

Don't pass judgment until you have walked in their moccasins.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. no thanks
and it would take a constitutional amendment
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nomorenomore08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sounds tempting, after Bush, but not worth the can of worms it would open.
So sorry, I can't recommend this thread, although I'm still bumping it for the sake of interest.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. Pardon's have their uses
such as pardoning those who dodged the Vietnam draft.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. sure get rid of it. It was so wrong when Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam War evaders
:sarcasm:
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
19. No way! Pardons predate the Magna Carta and...
are a fundamental tool in the administration of justice.

Just because they have often been used wrongly is no reason to eliminate them.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
22. Actually, think we should limit in some way ...
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
23. No, but it should be approved by Congress.
Either not having a vote in six months approves it, it fails if one-quarter of Congress is against it, passes immediately when 3/4 agree.

But it needs to be there.
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gravity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
24. Be careful what you wish for
Pardons can be abused, but they can be used for good to free those who are innocent or for breaking questionable laws
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
25. You got it. Just as soon as you tell me what its *intended* separation-of-powers role is....
and exactly *how* that intended role will be fulfilled once that power is removed (which will thus proportionately strengthen *other* parts of the government, obviously).

Without serious thought about separation of powers impact analysis, such suggestions should really be left for 6th graders.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Sometimes sixth graders demonstrate more common sense
than a room full of establishment apologists on DU - who have spent lifetimes absorbing and building rationalizations for the status quo.

That being said, and despite your very typical disruptive insult post, this thread has been informative for me. I can see there is a lot to this issue.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. This isn't one of those times.
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:59 AM
Response to Original message
27. K & R.
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 02:04 AM by nathan hale
For those "bleeding heart liberals" (one of which I have been staunchly since 1960), unfortunately, the practice has gotten way out of hand and no longer serves its primary function. It is a great idea when used for real cases of clemency, but clemency is the last thing Nixon or Mark Rich should have received.

<edited to add>

Oops! I totally forgot the Jimmy Carter Vietnam draft evaders pardon. I've changed my mind.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. I'm with you.
I'm on the fence regarding my own post. Fortunately I can't recommend it. :)
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
28. Why does the POTUS get to pick and choose
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 02:05 AM by noise
which parts of the Constitution he favors? Article II is good but the rest is shit? It's a buffet? POTUS gets to pick and choose which powers he likes and ignore the rest? That is outrageous.
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
30. perhaps there is a third path
where we change the nature of the pardon system so that there has to be a requirement of doubt about either the persons guilt of the crime or whether the nature of the crime was such that the person guilty of the crime believed that committing the crime was less of a crime (used in cases of consciencious objectors and draft dodgers and others that may have been forced to commit or allow greater crimes to occur if they hadnt committed their crime.)
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
33. Interesting proposal. But presidential pardons have saved lives in the past
Off the top of my head, I think about Lincoln's pardon of the 286 Sioux Lincoln pardoned after they had been condemned to death.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
38. -1
There is a pardon power for some very good reasons. Leave it alone, IMO.
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
39. No.
But I do think there should be limitations, or some sort of review or something. I do not think pardons should be given based on just plain being friends/donors/political allies. I think they should be available for cases when the verdict was questionable, or the punishment too severe, or certain other extenuating circumstances. Maybe a panel should review the potential pardons, and could reject them if they decide they are not appropriate.
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