Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Minnesota: Sad Commentary on a Sad Case

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Gov. Tim Pawlenty "and two other officials" (the State's Attorney General and a State Supreme Court justice) unanimously granted a pardon to 36-year old Jeremy Giefer two years ago. But, now, after the fact, some county prosecutors say Giefer was "sexually assaulting" a "young girl hundreds of times before and after he received his pardon." Of course, wanting to make as much out of it as possible, some "experts" are expressing their view that the situation might have an impact on any decision Pawlenty makes regarding a run for the presidency!

A spokesman felt the need to defend the pardon because it "involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together." In addition, Giefer had "completed his sentence many years before seeking the pardon, which his wife and others supported." In other words, not a single bit of anything Giefer is accused of now was in the mix when the pardon decision was made. Nonetheless, political scientist Larry Sabato - who is certainly no expert on pardons (state or federal) - says the pardon could  "hurt" Pawlenty "to some degree."

Indeed, Pawlenty is in a pickle! How did he and the other two individuals fail to perfectly read the future? Don't we all do that, every day of the week? Lord knows all of the other presidential hopefuls will be sporting perfect records in this regard! See story here.

With some irony, it is worthy of note that Pawlenty was on the after-the-fact second-guessing bandwagon re Mike Huckabee, boasting on Minnesota Public Radio that he "never" granted clemency in his time as governor! See our post on this low point here.

Note: We are trying to discover even a ballpark figure for the total number of pardons granted by Governor Pawlenty. But, after 11 calls, 4 answering machines, 2 dead numbers and a wrong number associated with various offices in Minnesota State Government, we can only come up with a general invitation to go research the matter on our own, in various annual government documents.

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