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Posted: 12/29/2006 7:49:36 PM EDT
I got to thinking this week after Ford died, and now that Saddam is dead too. Why the hell can the POTUS circumvent the entire legal process with a pardon. Isn't the guilt or innocence of a suspect/convict supposed to be determined by a court of law consisting of a jury of his/her peers.

I mean Ford let Nixon off scott-free. Which, in my opinion, has led to other Presidents skirting the law. Clinton for example. What would have happened if the Iraqi President steeped in at the 11th hour and just pardoned him?? Good for goose = good for gander?

Disclaimer: No Ex-Presidents or Evil Dictators were harmed in this post.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 7:52:29 PM EDT
I voted no, but I believe too much power is given to the president in general. Executive orders are absurd IMO.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:14:48 PM EDT
Only 9 votes?? Come WTH!! There's 3 times that many "Saddam" locked threads!
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:42:19 PM EDT
I look at it as one more check against an out of control judiciary and a legislature that might be making bad laws.  The pres can almost nullify a law if he were to grant pardons to anyone accused of violating said law.  





-K
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:44:43 PM EDT
IIRC, his authority to pardon is specifically granted in the Constitution.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:50:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I look at it as one more check against an out of control judiciary and a legislature that might be making bad laws.  The pres can almost nullify a law if he were to grant pardons to anyone accused of violating said law.  
-K


Like when Clinton pardoned hundreds of convicted felons just before he left office?
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:52:36 PM EDT
This is a power granted to the President by the Constitution and he excercises it relatively rarely.  Bush could have pardoned all his friends and gotten away with it, but he didn't.  And Ford pardoned Nixon to get the nation to move on.  Notice that he only pardoned Nixon but Nixon's guys got in trouble.  And Presidents have been "skirting the law" since TJ said "screw you" to the lame-duck Federalist Congress.  
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 8:53:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
IIRC, his authority to pardon is specifically granted in the Constitution.


You are correct.  IMHO it is a VERY good idea.  Look at the Duke case.  If someone gets stonewalled like that the pardon can set them free.  
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:16:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TaterSalad:

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I look at it as one more check against an out of control judiciary and a legislature that might be making bad laws.  The pres can almost nullify a law if he were to grant pardons to anyone accused of violating said law.  
-K


Like when Clinton pardoned hundreds of convicted felons just before he left office?



Yup!  But Clinton was a turd all the way around.  It can go either way though.  Like HappyCynic said look at the Duke rape case - that would have been a good place to use it.  We can all think of cases where there were BS convictions.  Look at the case of the two border patrol officers from a few weeks ago.  Or Michael New.  How about a pardon for the people convicted at Waco.  Or maybe if some of our troops are convicted of inhumanely lowering the self esteem of an Iraqi insurgent.  There are lots of cases like that all over the place.



-K
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:19:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2006 9:20:32 PM EDT by raven]
I can't think of a situation where the pardon power was used in a righteous and decent manner.  Clinton and his pardon-brokering brother are the first I've seen to actually personally profit from it, but presidential pardons always come across as slimy and unseemly.  Bush Sr. pardoned a fucking terrorist who blew up an airliner, for Chist's sakes.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:21:06 PM EDT
So are we a "Nation of Law", or are we a "Nation of What Ever POTUS" says?
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:21:54 PM EDT
Among other things, I think the President should be chosen wisely.  And then given unlimited powers to provide for the people.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:28:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Peak_Oil:
Among other things, I think the President should be chosen wisely.  And then given unlimited powers to provide for the people.


That almost sounds like we should dissolve the legislative and judicial branches, and just elect a dictator?
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:35:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2006 9:37:43 PM EDT by Billybob2002]
From Article Two of the United States Constitution:



The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.


Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:44:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Billybob2002:
From Article Two of the United States Constitution:



The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.




I know what the Constitution says, but I asked SHOULD he have such unlimited blanket authority As the Constitution reads, he has the power to release every convicted criminal in the US if he wants to - completely ignoring the legal justice system.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 9:56:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TaterSalad:
As the Constitution reads, he has the power to release every convicted criminal in the US if he wants to - completely ignoring the legal justice system.


Not really. He can only pardon crimes against the United States, ie federal crimes. He can't do anything about state crimes--robbery, murder, etc.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 10:04:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TaterSalad:
So are we a "Nation of Law", or are we a "Nation of What Ever POTUS" says?


It isn't an 'either or' proposition; the law states that the POTUS gets the power to pardon, end of story.

Personally, I think it is a fine idea, and has yet to be proven to be a bad one.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 10:10:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By TaterSalad:
So are we a "Nation of Law", or are we a "Nation of What Ever POTUS" says?


It isn't an 'either or' proposition; the law states that the POTUS gets the power to pardon, end of story.

Personally, I think it is a fine idea, and has yet to be proven to be a bad one.


I think Clinton's senseless pardons were a perfect example. I also believe they were in retaliation for the GOP riding his ass like a rented mule, and humiliating the hell out of him. And it's not the end of the story. That's what amendments were for the last time I checked.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 10:22:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2006 10:23:44 PM EDT by verticalgain]

Originally Posted By mcgredo:

Not really. He can only pardon crimes against the United States, ie federal crimes. He can't do anything about state crimes--robbery, murder, etc.


Exactly.  Pardons are fine, executive orders being treated as law are not however.

And since he can only pardon federal crimes, your poll is misleading. He can pardon, but within limit.  ie:

4: Yes, he should uphold the Constitution.
Link Posted: 12/29/2006 11:30:21 PM EDT
I think pardons are a good thing, simply because THE OPTION is there.  We shouldn't be so bound by law in some instances that we can't overturn our own creation.  (Now that's a fine, very fine, line, but I hope you'll follow my train of thought.)

In the case of Nixon being pardoned, really if you look at it from Ford's perspective, it dropped the whole damn thing.  Over.  Done.  No more.  No dragging it and our shame for ten years.  By dropping it, respect for the office was returned more quickly.  That's what I think, anyway.  
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