Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Colorado: Respite!

Gov. John Hickenlooper
One the more brutal blunders of media coverage of Scooter Libby's case was the notion that, if President Bush did not pardon Libby, Libby would be off to federal prison. So far as we are aware, only two analysts were informed enough to beg to differ. One, William Otis, recommended that Bush grant a commutation of Libby's prison sentence - which is what eventually happened.

The other, the Editor of this blog, noted that Bush could simply grant a respite, or a series of respites, delaying the prison sentence until Libby was able to appeal the verdict. Indeed, the Editor remains convinced that, had the President been truly convinced that Libby was innocent, a respite would have been the more intelligent decision. Regardless, for the most part, the media were clueless about the variety of forms of clemency available to the president.

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper has granted a "reprieve" to the so-called "Chuck E Cheese killer" Nathan Dunlap. It is reported that the delay of Dunlap's execution "will stay in force until Hickenlooper or another governor lifts it," but Hickenlooper has said "it was highly unlikely that he would revisit his decision."

In 1993, Dunlap (who was 19 years old at the time) walked into a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora, shot five people in the head and took $1,500 from a safe. He had recently been fired from the restaurant.  See full story here.

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