Friday, January 4, 2013

Wisconsin: Scott Walker, Blithering Pardon Idiot

WQOW 18 reports that Gov. Scott Walker says he "hasn't suspended the state's pardons process, he just isn't issuing any." This is, of course, in direct contradiction to a November 1, 2012 letter written by Karley Downing, the Assistant Legal Counsel in his own office, which says that the State's "pardon process" has been "suspended indefinitely" (see the letter here).

To make matters worse, Walker attempted to justify his misrepresentation on these grounds:
"The criminal justice system has a process by which, if someone's innocent, they can be granted a change in their sentence based upon the court system. They handle that ... The only people seeking pardons are people who are guilty and I don't have any reason to undermine the criminal justice system,"
This perhaps explains why Walker has never bothered to appoint anyone to the State's Pardon Advisory Board.

But, of course, the very notion that pardons are for those that are (or claim to be) actually "innocent" and, thus, constitute a means to "undermine the criminal justice system," reveals abysmal ignorance on the governor's part, or a willingness to mislead that is borderline despicable. As is the case in any other state, the vast majority of clemency applications (and grants) are for persons who have served their time (if they ever had any to serve), have taken care of all associated fines and penalties and have waited years to simply have their civil rights restored. They are not claiming to be innocent at all. The only thing being "undermined" (if that is the right word) are backward-ass laws that impose eternal punishments for all offenses, great and small.

So, very fittingly, 18 notes that the Wisconsin Constitution "gives the Governor the power to pardon anyone convicted of a felony in the state" but adds that pardons do not "overturn the felony conviction" but simply "restore certain rights such as a person's ability to possess a firearm, obtain a liquor license, or hold public office." In other words, the reporters at 18 know more about pardons than Walker. Or, as Walker might put it, the State's Constitution is undermining its own criminal justice system! See 18 report here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a heartless jerk.

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