» The power of the pen: In a move that shocked the Mississippi political system and jumbled up the traditional left-right orthodoxies on law and order, outgoing Governor Haley Barbour used his last day in office to pardon 208 inmates, among them 14 convicted murderers, as well as the older brother of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre. This deluge has both led Democratic lawmakers to push for future restrictions on the gubernatorial right to pardon. To be sure, it’s wrong to decry a particular pardon without knowing all the facts. But waiting until the last day of an eight-year tenure, with no more accountability in sight? That’s always going to cause controversy, and rightly so. Edit: Fixed an error. Sorry about that all :/
climateadaptation asks: Re: Perry. Fyi, a gov of TX does not have the power to pardon. That graphic uses fuzzy facts...
» SFB says: But, as the Texas Tribune’s own article (published yesterday along with the graphic) points out, Perry appoints the people who make the recommendation which would allow him to grant clemency: “Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for the governor, said the governor can only grant clemency when the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles — whose members Perry appoints — recommends that action. He has only disagreed with the board three times when it recommended clemency in death penalty cases, she said.” To us, that sounds like he has significant influence over the decision even if the law doesn’t allow for a direct decision. — Ernie @ SFB
» A fairly recent phenomenon: Although the pardoning of turkeys seems like a longstanding presidential phenomenon, it’s not. The first pardoning took place in 1989 under George H.W. Bush’s watch. And the shipping of turkeys to the White House only started in the 1940s, on Harry Truman’s watch. We’re guessing Truman killed the turkey himself.