Author Topic: Pardons  (Read 705 times)

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Offline Stadler

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Pardons
« on: January 18, 2021, 08:34:40 AM »
I think we've talked about this in other threads as they come up, but in the context of Jan. 6, and with Jan. 20 looming, there are going to be a lot of discussions about this.

Trump has already pardoned I think 95 people (by the way, this includes pardons, commutations and rescisions; they are different).  There are rumblings that he will pardon another 100.  That's ballpark 200 people in four years.

For comparison:
Obama (8 years): 1,927
Bush (8 years): 200
Clinton (8 years): 459
Bush (4 years): 77
Reagan (8 years): 406
Carter (4 years): 566
Ford (2 years): 409
Nixon (6 years): 926
LBJ (5 years): 1,187
Kennedy (3 years): 575


I'm sure that there will be some conversation on the type (or names) of the people pardoned, not just the number.  Suffice to say, Trump isn't alone there, either.   Clinton pardoned his (half) brother.  Clinton pardoned Marc Rich (which was akin to Roger Stone pardon in terms of "personal impact" on the President; it was called, at the time, "a shocking abuse of Presidential power" by the NY Times).   Ford pardoned Nixon.  Bush, Sr. pardoned several people involved in the Iran-Contra affair.   Both Clinton and Obama pardoned known terrorists.  Appropriate to today, Clinton pardoned Linda Evans, was part of an organization - Weatherman - that bombed the U.S. Capital in 1971.

None of this is to pass "judgment" as to whether the process is right or wrong, or whether any one pardon/commutation/rescision is merited or valid, just to point out the history of the practice, and where any one pardon fits in the bigger picture.

Offline lordxizor

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2021, 08:49:55 AM »
I'm curious how many of those pardons were for people who had already served their time and had turned their life around after their release. I know there are plenty in that situation and not for people who are still in prison.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2021, 09:03:33 AM »
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/24/so-far-trump-has-granted-clemency-less-frequently-than-any-president-in-modern-history/

Pardons: Forgiveness of past crimes (and restore any civil rights that may have been preempted by the crime)
Commutations: completely or partially reducing sentences/penalties for those convicted
(There are other, lesser used variants, such as remission and respites)

The interesting thing is that the source above also shows the frequency of clemency when compared to the number of "asks".  Trump, as of the date of that article, is BY FAR the least frequent user of clemency. at least since the turn of the 20th century.

Offline Elite

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2021, 09:10:19 AM »
I'm mostly interested in American people's thoughts on why this even exists, and why it's a good idea or not that such a mechanism is avaiable.

To me it seems completely unnecessary and prone to being abused by whoever is in office.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2021, 09:11:23 AM »
I wonder how many of those pardons were for mercenaries who opened fire on a crowded market square killing men, women, and children.

I get Stadler's point and I can't argue with it. Overall I think he's right. Presidents use this privilege to take care of their amigos. I think there are a couple of exceptions for Trump, but not too far out of the norm, really. I don't know as the others have ever pardoned somebody who came right out and said "yeah, he had to, I know too much," like ole Roger did.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2021, 09:33:53 AM »
Also in Italy there is a presidential pardon. The current president issue 15, 6 years into his 7 years term. Mostly they were for crimes commited out of desperation, such as elder men killing their terminally ill spouse.

It has to be asked to the Justice Ministery and it has to be asked by the convicted, or by a family member.

So I assume in other countries there's also this practice, but at least in Italy is rarely used. 15 pardons in 6 years is basically nothing. There has been also a dramatic decrease of this practice - the president that conceded most pardons hit 7.423. The previous president, who lasted 9 years (7 years first term, and then the agreement to a second term under the premise that he would resign whenever he felt too old for the job, which he did 2 years later), pardoned only 23 people. The one before that, 114.
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Offline lonestar

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 10:40:32 AM »
Curious to see, if the incoming administration decriminalizes weed, how many Joe has. If it was Bernie and he did it, he'd crush all the records for sure.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2021, 12:02:53 PM »
Curious to see, if the incoming administration decriminalizes weed, how many Joe has. If it was Bernie and he did it, he'd crush all the records for sure.
Did Joe hack your account or something?
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Offline Elite

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2021, 12:36:17 PM »
No, just the election :biggrin:
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2021, 12:55:28 PM »
I'm just hoping to see whether Joe Exotic is on the list.  He's lobbying!    :)

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 01:00:22 PM »
If they actually cared about Pardoning, they would've Pardoned Leonard Peltier. Many World Peace Keepers, and political leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, the 14th Dali Lama, campaigned for his clemency. a former FBI agent called for President Obama to grant him clemency, and even Former U.S. Attorney James H. Reynolds, asked Obama to grant clemency, and he was the head at the time of Peltiers conviction.

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/former-fbi-agent-calls-for-clemency-for-leonard-peltier/


If Trump pardons him. I could only imagine how those native activist people would react, and view trump.  :lol :corn
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Offline Elite

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 01:02:17 PM »
How could the US president pardon people from other countries? (Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama).
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2021, 01:05:58 PM »
I'm just hoping to see whether Joe Exotic is on the list.  He's lobbying!    :)
I know Ken Paxton's still holding his breath.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2021, 01:31:14 PM »
How could the US president pardon people from other countries? (Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama).

Other than symbolically, they can't; but that's not what Ben said, I don't think.  I took it as those people lobbied the U.S. President at the time (that I know of, Clinton, Obama, and Trump have been asked about clemency) on behalf of Leonard Peltier.

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2021, 07:43:26 PM »
How could the US president pardon people from other countries? (Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama).

Other than symbolically, they can't; but that's not what Ben said, I don't think.  I took it as those people lobbied the U.S. President at the time (that I know of, Clinton, Obama, and Trump have been asked about clemency) on behalf of Leonard Peltier.

Yeah, Those people lobbied for him. Has anyone else had these people lobby for them for Clemency.

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Offline lonestar

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2021, 07:54:08 PM »
Very curious to see who the other 100 are. I'd imagine it to be close associates and family. Donnie will only help people who can help him, I'd be shocked to see any of the insurrectionists pardoned.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2021, 09:01:38 PM »
My guess is that it won't be immediate family - that would concede culpability, since you can't pardon for future crimes, only past ones - and it won't be insurrectionists.  If we were doing a "Pardon Pool", I'd be picking a mixed bag of D-list celebrities and odd causes célèbre that allow him to take a PR position, sprinkled with close associates ala those already given to Manafort and Stone.

The important ones have been given; I don't expect anything earth shattering in the list; it's going to be more a "fuck you!" list than anything else.   I say this a bit sarcastically, but given that Obama declined his petition, I'd say that Leonard Peltier's chances have never been so high.

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2021, 11:48:33 PM »
My guess is that it won't be immediate family - that would concede culpability, since you can't pardon for future crimes, only past ones - and it won't be insurrectionists.  If we were doing a "Pardon Pool", I'd be picking a mixed bag of D-list celebrities and odd causes célèbre that allow him to take a PR position, sprinkled with close associates ala those already given to Manafort and Stone.

The important ones have been given; I don't expect anything earth shattering in the list; it's going to be more a "fuck you!" list than anything else.   I say this a bit sarcastically, but given that Obama declined his petition, I'd say that Leonard Peltier's chances have never been so high.

Oh yeah. With all his Pardons, that is the one I am really looking at, and seeing if he does do that. I honestly don't think he would. But with the way things have been going, as you said, he has a high chance of getting Pardoned. And I do see Trump doing that just to give them the last middle finger. That is, if he is aware of it.

I even posed the question of "How would you react if Trump pardoned Leonard?" On Facebook and no responses.  :lol

But who knows...
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Offline hunnus2000

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2021, 07:53:58 AM »
I'm pretty sure that you can pardon for future crimes. That's part of the reason that Nixon's pardon was so controversial and take a look at that bastard Bannon. He hasn't been convicted of anything.

On a funnier note - the Tiger King has not received a pardon and his legal team was so confident that they would get one, they had a stretch limo waiting outside for him.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2021, 08:34:08 AM »
The notion of "future crimes" has never been tested in the courts, but the presumption is that it's limited.  Nixon's crimes weren't "future crimes", in that they were already committed, he just hadn't been charged yet.  And if memory serves, Ford was specific in what he was pardoning.  Most experts that I have read (not suggesting that it is comprehensive) agree that you can't pardon someone for something that they haven't even done yet ("I hereby pardon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for campaign contribution violations in future Presidential races she may enter.")

(And there is risk here: the person being pardoned has to accept the pardon.  One of the arguments that was made to Trump was that by pardoning his kids, he would force them to admit there was a crime to begin with; that was, according to the article I read, the point that ultimately swayed him away from that.) 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2021, 08:39:02 AM »
The notion of "future crimes" has never been tested in the courts, but the presumption is that it's limited.  Nixon's crimes weren't "future crimes", in that they were already committed, he just hadn't been charged yet.  And if memory serves, Ford was specific in what he was pardoning.  Most experts that I have read (not suggesting that it is comprehensive) agree that you can't pardon someone for something that they haven't even done yet ("I hereby pardon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for campaign contribution violations in future Presidential races she may enter.")

(And there is risk here: the person being pardoned has to accept the pardon.  One of the arguments that was made to Trump was that by pardoning his kids, he would force them to admit there was a crime to begin with; that was, according to the article I read, the point that ultimately swayed him away from that.)
There's also the problem that it would limit his 5th amendment protections going forward with the likely NY case. The availability of federal charges is actually an asset to him.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2021, 08:42:39 AM »
There's also the problem that it would limit his 5th amendment protections going forward with the likely NY case. 


Really? That's interesting. Does a self pardon actually self incriminate? Is that it?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2021, 08:56:28 AM »
There's also the problem that it would limit his 5th amendment protections going forward with the likely NY case. 


Really? That's interesting. Does a self pardon actually self incriminate? Is that it?
I'll probably get this all wrong, Stadler will have the proper explanation, but you can't invoke the 5th amendment if you can't actually be prosecuted for what you admit. Its intended to insure that people aren't forced to admit to crimes they can be prosecuted for.  If Trump is necessarily immune from federal charges then he has no need of that protection.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2021, 10:03:43 AM »
There's also the problem that it would limit his 5th amendment protections going forward with the likely NY case. 


Really? That's interesting. Does a self pardon actually self incriminate? Is that it?
I'll probably get this all wrong, Stadler will have the proper explanation, but you can't invoke the 5th amendment if you can't actually be prosecuted for what you admit. Its intended to insure that people aren't forced to admit to crimes they can be prosecuted for.  If Trump is necessarily immune from federal charges then he has no need of that protection.

Usually you have this stuff spot on, and I think you're still mostly right, but there's a wrinkle, a devil in the details. With the understanding that this is all sort of unsettled law, I think IN NY, for those crimes, he would still have 5th Amendment protection, because he CAN be convicted of STATE crimes involving the same or similar facts.  What he couldn't do is do his usual stall with CONGRESS.   When people are called before Congress to testify, if they invoke the 5th, Congress has a means of voting for an "immunity order", which gives the potential witness immunity, compelling them (under penalty of a contempt motion, which carries jail time) to testify (remember, Congress isn't a COURT, but they have broad and powerful investigatory capability).   So, you're right with respect to Federal charges; as long as Trump himself wouldn't be subject to FEDERAL charges, Congress COULD compel him to testify under penalty of perjury and/or contempt.  Now, whether he can argue that such testimony would jeopardize him in a state case, and thus give him back his option to plead the 5th, isn't clear.   But we all know it would be a sideshow of epic proportions if Trump was compelled to testify under oath in Congress.   I'd pay to see that. ;)

Offline DragonAttack

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Re: Pardons
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2021, 02:39:05 PM »
A ton load of Obama's pardons/clemencys were conditional.  I liked that.  Old time, racist drug busts were ended... but, the individuals had to complete 3-5 years of drug rehabilation.  Since my wife spent ten years in a reading program to help rehibiltate inmates (not a touchee-feelee program,...as it benefited everyone including the guards)....  it's a difference giving a pardon or clemency for someone who did a drug deal twenty years ago and then getting the ability to vote after fifteen years.

Steve Bannon:  eff him !!!!

Mike Flynn:  eff him !!!  Though I am sure Putin appreciated the pardon.

Kwame Kilpatrick:  that mo fo Detroit mayor deserved to spend the next two centuries in jail.  It was an 'eff you' to Michigan for that pardon.

To end this diatribe:  we all know why the birther did not extend any pardons for him or his family.  Just like Fonzy, he would actually have to admit
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