Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Update: O. Henry Pardon Application

Background: On September 11th of last year, Scott Hensen (of Grits for Breakfast) and the Editor of this blog (P.S. Ruckman, Jr.) filed an application with the Office of the Pardon Attorney (Department of Justice) on behalf of the great American writer O.Henry (see application here). The basis of the request for posthumous pardon was spelled out with meticulously detail and, in addition, we researched clemency grants in the aftermath of O.Henry's offense so as to get a sense of how likely a pardon would have been granted had he ever personally applied for one (see "Reasons for Pardon" here). Within a few days, the U.S. Pardon Attorney, Ronald Rodgers, responded to our application (see his response here). 

Update: The Editor of this blog (P.S. Ruckman, Jr.) has written a letter of complaint to President Obama. An additional copy of the complaint was sent to U.S. Senator, Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). The letter holds that the Pardon Attorney's response falls far short of the high standard of excellence one would expect from an employee of the Department of Justice. At best, it demonstrates an inability to comprehend the content of the application. At worst, it intentionally mischaracterizes the content of the application to reach a preordained conclusion. Either way, it is the Editor's very strong sense that the application was not given the kind of serious, respectful consideration that any application for clemency deserves. Readers are certainly invited to agree, or disagree. See the full letter of complaint here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that one could oppose posthumous pardons, generally, and, yet, at the same time, view them as acceptable alternatives to complete inaction that is the result of cowardice and/or incompetence. Why doesn't the pardon attorney seem to understand that? That is your position, right?

Anonymous said...

A pardon cannot be granted if, somewhere, someone, might misinterpret it as a declaration of innocence ! What a hoot !

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

EDITOR: Anon1, You have the right idea, of course. My view, however, is that the posts on this blog have nothing to do with the application. The application should have been reviewed on its own merits. Period.

I do not know the pardon attorney personally. So I cannot divine his intentions. I don't know if he was trying to be witty, cute, sarcastic or what. Or maybe he thought I would flattered that he mentioned my blog. Who knows?

Regardless, his approach was unimpressive.

best,

Anonymous said...

Senator Durbin has the ability to speak with the president by phone or in person and may even be able to arrange for an Illinois resident to speak with him as this is a big enough problem.

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