Monday, June 9, 2014

Military Mercy Revisited

In honor of William Otis' prognostication that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be pardoned, we repost and amend from June 17, 2009. Here are some classic instances of federal executive clemency on behalf of members of the military.

(Click on the name associated with each entry to see additional information):

2000 - Preston King (draft evasion)
1999 - Henry Flipper (first posthumous presidential pardon, charged with embezzlement, first African-America USMA graduate)
1999 - Freddie Meeks (mutiny, Port Chicago incident)
1965 - Carl H. Buck - last known pardon for innocence (charged with theft)
1960, 1977 - Maurice Schick (murder, case to Supreme Court)
1950 - Leon Gilbert (insubordination, cowardice, 600,000 supporters!)
1945 - A Christmas amnesty to thousands of convicts who served honorably in the War
1945 - Sidney Shapiro (formally charged with obstruction of justice one hour before trial)
1944 - General Robert C. Richardson (charged with contempt, preemptive pardon)
1921 - Chaplain Franz J. Feinler (treason and propaganda)
1918 - Houston Rioters (riot, murder)
1913 - Thomas Franklin (financial irregularities, West Point treasurer)
1907 - John L. Lennon (AWOL, nephew of famous boxer, John L. Sullivan)
1900 - Admiral Bowman H. McCalla (had a thing for cruel and unusual punishments)
1890 - Dell P. Wild (refused to do "menial" work)
1890 - Lewis Carter (assault, robbery, desertion and a 99-year sentence)
1883 - John A. Mason (attempted to assassinate Garfield's assassin, Guiteau)
1882 - Fitz John Porter (disobeying an order, misconduct - blamed for Union loss at Bull Run)
1860 - Aaron Dwight Stevens (riot, assault, later one of John Brown's "officers")
1848 - General John C. Fremont (mutiny, declined pardon and resigned, aka "the Pathfinder")
1814 - General William Hull (surrendered Fort Detroit to British without a fight!)

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