Monday, May 4, 2009

Illinois: Another Blago Pardon Controversy

The Sun-Times reports that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich pardoned Anan Abu-Taleb, a convicted tax cheat, in December 2006. Or, as the Sun-Times put it, Abu-Taleb "successfully maneuvered through the state's byzantine clemency process." But it is also noted that more than $200,000 in "campaign contributions" were directed to Blagojevich "from a powerful Chicago law firm run, in part, by an Abu-Taleb relative who was a character witness in the clemency case." Rob Warden, director of Northwestern University's Center for Wrongful Convictions, wonders how Abu-Taleb moved "to the head" of the clemency line while 20 exonerated inmates championed by Northwestern's group -- and hundreds of others who'd made clemency requests -- languished under Blagojevich. See story here.

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