Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Pardoning Is for People, Not Turkeys
Justin E. H. Smith has a sharp criticism of the annual turkey pardon and P. S. Ruckman, Jr., who runs the "Pardon Power" blog, is clearly not amused by it, either. And I don't think it can really be argued that it isn't, at best, a sad thing: the Office of the President has over the past several administrations been absurdly stingy with pardons, and the Obama administration has done very, very poorly with it -- only George W. Bush took longer to give the first presidential pardon (and that not much), and his commutation record isn't any better. To date he has a mere 22 pardons and 1 commutation to his name. This is truly awful. Further, most of these were for minor crimes occurring a long time ago, yet the Obama White House is still notoriously slow with them -- cleared by the DOJ, it still takes months before anything is done about them. We should be well over a hundred pardons and commutations by now, even in the most stingy of administrations.