Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Times on: Pizer, Gov. Walker and Mercy

While we have certainly done our share of blasting away at Gov. Scott Walker's No Consideration of Clemency for Anyone Policy, we are pleased to see the New York Times take interest. 

Today, a story recounts a meeting between "a former Marine (Eric Pizer), who threw the right jab just days after returning from a second deployment" and his victim "who has not breathed the same since." As the Times puts it:

The ex-Marine, Eric Pizer, seeks a pardon because he aches with remorse, and because his one-punch felony conviction means that he cannot possess or own a gun, disqualifying him from his desired career in law enforcement. He has only one smudge on his record. “This one night,” he said. “This one time.” 
It all happened a decade ago, but there is "one problem"
The governor of Wisconsin is Scott Walker, a possible Republican contender for president who, since taking office in 2011, has declined to exercise his power of pardon, which the Wisconsin Constitution describes as “an official act of forgiveness.” With the Pizer case emerging as a cause célèbre in Wisconsin, the governor has defended his no-pardon policy, saying that he sees no reason to “undermine” the criminal justice system — no matter that pardons were frequently granted by at least the last five governors before him. 
Indeed, Governor Walker rationalizes his neglect of clemency processes by admitting that there are thousands of persons in his State "who probably have a compelling case to be made that we don’t know about.” 

This piece ends wonderfully:

They talked some more. Then Mr. Pizer asked for forgiveness. About 85 miles to the east, in the Capitol in Madison, the power of forgiveness goes untapped. But here in Boscobel, Mr. Frazier studied the penitent ex-Marine before him, and then said it: “I forgive you.” Mr. Pizer felt a release, and stuck out his right hand. It was received in a good, firm grip. 
See Times story here.

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