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November 21, 2013
15:45 // 11 months ago
January 11, 2012
Mississippi judge blocks 21 of Haley Barbour’s pardons
Checked by the judiciary: Thanks to a request by Mississippi’s Democratic Attorney General, Jim Hood, 21 of the 208 pardons issued by outgoing Governor Haley Barbour yesterday have been blocked. Hood objected on the grounds that the convicts in question failed to give sufficient notice they were seeking the pardons, which he claims amounts to a violation of the state’s constitution on Barbour’s part. Barbour defended his decision today, in a statement emphasizing the relatively low rate of currently serving prisoners released, as well as medical considerations. (Photo by Gage Skidmore) source
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Checked by the judiciary: Thanks to a request by Mississippi’s Democratic Attorney General, Jim Hood, 21 of the 208 pardons issued by outgoing Governor Haley Barbour yesterday have been blocked. Hood objected on the grounds that the convicts in question failed to give sufficient notice they were seeking the pardons, which he claims amounts to a violation of the state’s constitution on Barbour’s part. Barbour defended his decision today, in a statement emphasizing the relatively low rate of currently serving prisoners released, as well as medical considerations. (Photo by Gage Skidmore) source

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20:26 // 2 years ago

Mississippi ex-Governor Haley Barbour goes on pardon spree on last day in office

  • 208 pardons by Haley Barbour on his last day in office source

» 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 :/

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15:18 // 2 years ago
December 6, 2011
ProPublica study reveals striking racial disparities in presidential pardons
And justice for all? A study broke this weekend that flies in the face of that notion. ProPublica journalists Dafna Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur investigated the last decade’s worth of presidential pardons, and found some alarming things. For starters, white applicants were four times more likely to receive a pardon than minority applicants, with blacks having the lowest chance of approval. After taking office, President Bush outsourced the pardons process to lawyers in the Office of the Pardon Attorney, who claim their protocol for examining cases never included any mention of the applicant’s race, but that non-statistical factors like candor and remorse were taken into account. That said, there are striking examples of minorities being denied for very similar or lesser offenses than successful white applicants. Of the thirty-four drug-related pardons President Bush authorized, all were white. Of President Obama’s twenty-two total pardons to date, twenty have been white. Pro Publica’s reporting on this is excellent, and far more in-depth than we can possibly summarize; we urge you to look for yourself.
Exhibit A Two women, one white and one black, both from the same city in Texas, filed for pardons on tax related offenses. The black woman had been fined $3000 for underreporting her income in 1989, while the white woman had faked multiple tax returns to reap over $25,000; only the white woman’s pardon was approved.
Exhibit B A first-time, black drug offender from South Carolina was given probation for possessing 1.1 grams of crack; his pardon was denied. Conversely, a white four-time offender, who had served prison time for selling 1,050 grams of methamphetamine, was pardoned; only the white man’s pardon was approved. source
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And justice for all? A study broke this weekend that flies in the face of that notion. ProPublica journalists Dafna Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur investigated the last decade’s worth of presidential pardons, and found some alarming things. For starters, white applicants were four times more likely to receive a pardon than minority applicants, with blacks having the lowest chance of approval. After taking office, President Bush outsourced the pardons process to lawyers in the Office of the Pardon Attorney, who claim their protocol for examining cases never included any mention of the applicant’s race, but that non-statistical factors like candor and remorse were taken into account. That said, there are striking examples of minorities being denied for very similar or lesser offenses than successful white applicants. Of the thirty-four drug-related pardons President Bush authorized, all were white. Of President Obama’s twenty-two total pardons to date, twenty have been white. Pro Publica’s reporting on this is excellent, and far more in-depth than we can possibly summarize; we urge you to look for yourself.

  • Exhibit A Two women, one white and one black, both from the same city in Texas, filed for pardons on tax related offenses. The black woman had been fined $3000 for underreporting her income in 1989, while the white woman had faked multiple tax returns to reap over $25,000; only the white woman’s pardon was approved.
  • Exhibit B A first-time, black drug offender from South Carolina was given probation for possessing 1.1 grams of crack; his pardon was denied. Conversely, a white four-time offender, who had served prison time for selling 1,050 grams of methamphetamine, was pardoned; only the white man’s pardon was approved. source

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14:41 // 2 years ago
September 3, 2011

climateadaptation says: 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

18:12 // 3 years ago
December 31, 2010

Did New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson pardon Billy the Kid?

  • NO not enough firm evidence, says Gov. Richardson source
11:03 // 3 years ago
December 29, 2010
Still waiting for a pardon in New Mexico: Billy the Kid: 120 years ago, Billy the Kid was promised a pardon by New Mexico’s then-governor, Lew Wallace. In the next two days, current Gov. Bill Richardson might just grant it. source Follow ShortFormBlog

Still waiting for a pardon in New Mexico: Billy the Kid: 120 years ago, Billy the Kid was promised a pardon by New Mexico’s then-governor, Lew Wallace. In the next two days, current Gov. Bill Richardson might just grant it. source

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20:31 // 3 years ago
December 4, 2010

Obama finally decides to pardon some actual human beings

  • nine number of pardons Obama granted today; all the turkey talk must’ve gotten to him
  • 682 number of days of presidency it took Obama to make his first official pardon
  • 699 number of days it took George W. Bush  (the record-holder) to make his first pardons source
1:43 // 3 years ago
November 24, 2010

Turkeys more worthy of Obama’s mercy than humans

  • four number of turkeys Obama has pardoned since becoming president
  • zero number of people the president has pardoned so far source

» 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.

16:48 // 3 years ago