No - Scott Walker's blithe nonsense notwithstanding - pardons simply restore the civil rights of persons who have just about always committed minor / non-violent offenses, years (often decades) ago, have served their time (if they ever even had any to server) and have established themselves as law-abiding citizens. No one's judgement is being interfered with, much less overturned. If anything, the decision making of the criminal process is validated by pardon. A pardons says sentences were right, fair, just and enough!
As Walker's term progressed, predictably enough, notable instances of clemency applicants began to show up in media, cases where most reasonable persons would find themselves thinking, "Why shouldn't this person at least be considered for clemency." The answer was far from intuitive. Perhaps sensitive to the resulting awkwardness, Walker shifted the landscape by observing that, if a pardon is given to one clearly deserving person, then other deserving persons might step forward and desire clemency as well!
|Scott Walker's Motto for Wisconsin?|
Now comes one Alan Talaga, writing for Isthmus. Talaga notes Walker "has declined using his executive power to pardon during his entire time in office" because, as Walker now explains (we're getting close to the next presidential election):
"What about all those other individuals who may not have an advocate but who have equally turned their lives around?"Talaga further explains (because, Lord knows, further explanation is certainly needed) that some persons who seek clemency "lack" anything like a "strong PR campaign" to support their applications. Talaga thinks Walker explanation is "actually right."
We think Walker is actually wrong and - once again - quite stupid.
If a famous person, with a great PR campaign, applies for a pardon, in a state, then the constitutionally created clemency process in that state is instantly infected? and should be shut down? entirely? immediately? If you are a deserving applicant ... too bad? Brilliant. Just brilliant.
|Tough on Crime (America and |
Some legislation is associated with highly organized PR campaigns, is it not? Maybe Walker should, therefore, veto all legislation, for the sake of fairness, to all? Yeah, if you are an idiot, you just might reach that conclusion.
Walker's latest rationalization (with apologies to persons more talented at that art), smells just as bad as the previous incarnations. He is not concerned about fairness. He should just end the charade and just say so, unequivocally. When writing about pardons in the Federalist papers, Alexander Hamilton argued there should be "easy access" to mercy. Scott Walker has a different view of America and constitutional government.
Scott Walker is concerned about posing. And what a site he is to see! See Talaga's piece here.