Bush grants more pardons
It has become an ideal guessing game: Who will President Bush forgive at the end of his term?
With just two more months left to his presidency, President George W. Bush on Monday granted pardons to 14 individuals and commuted the prison sentences of two others.
The pardons were given for offenses ranging from distribution of marijuana to unauthorized use of a registered pesticide, a Justice Department statement said.
Among those receiving commutations was rap singer John Forte, who was charged with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He was sentenced to 168 months in prison and five years supervised release. His prison term will now end on Dec. 22 of this year, and his release will still be supervised.
White House Spokesman Carlton Carroll said:
“The president carefully considered recommendations for pardons and commutations on a case-by-case basis and made his determinations. He will continue to review clemency requests.”
The New York Times reported that other defendants who have appealed to Bush for pardons include Marion Jones, the former Olympic sprinter convicted for lying about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban” captured in Afghanistan.
One hot topic is whether Bush might decide to issue pre-emptive pardons to agents involved in harsh interrogations of terror suspects.
If you are nosy about all the Bush pardons, the Justice Department has released a complete list from December 2002 until March 2008.
Bush has not been known to be generous with his power to wave away a criminal record, though. The president has now pardoned 171 individuals and commuted sentences for eight people, a relatively small number compared to past administrations.