Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pardon for an Axe Murderer? Anything New Out There?

The Atlantic is featuring a piece with the witty title, "So I Pardoned an Axe Murderer." The topic involves a recent pardon which we have hesitated to cover to this point. But, now, it seems appropriate to give it some attention. The facts of the case are as follows:
In 2004, a military officer from the majority Shiite nation of Azerbaijan named Ramil Safarov hacked an Armenian counterpart to death with an axe while both were attending a NATO language-training course in Hungary. Murdering a guest of NATO and an officer from a foreign government will probably not go down as a great moment in diplomatic probity. And yet, Hungary last week extradited Safarov back to Azerbaijan, where the president pardoned him for his act of senseless and apparently unwarranted violence. 
There is, of course, a world of political intrigue behind the "bizarre and bloody incident." The Armenian Bar Association has called upon President Obama - who has very little experience with the pardon power - to do something! Indeed, the President has officially announced "deep concern" over the matter. See full Atlantic story here.

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