Friday, March 27, 2015

Texas: Pardon Strategery?

Jerry Eversole resigned his post as a Harris County Commissioner three years ago and plead guilty to lying to FBI agents. The Houston Chronicle reports that, in 2011, he was accused of:
... taking $100,000 in cash and gifts from friend and real estate developer Mike Surface in exchange for county contracts and appointments. The three-week trial ended in a hung jury and Eversole resigned his office later that year and admitted to lying to federal agents, a felony, three months later. In exchange for the guilty plea, he was sentenced to three years probation. A year later, his probation was terminated early by U.S. District Judge David Hittner.
It appears a lawyer has been found who is willing to say "presidents often make pardon decisions that might be unpopular after the election of their successor" - a wonderful sentiment supported by precious little evidence. So, the lawyer guesses, "now would be a good time to start gathering support to submit to the Pardon Division (sic) of the DOJ" - the target being November 2016.

While it is true that waiting that long might enable Eversole to meet the DOJ's waiting period (at least five years after conviction or release from confinement before filing a pardon application), there is little else about the date that makes sense.

In the real world, it is moderately well known, at least among those who have seriously attempted to inform themselves on the topic, that the typical grant of clemency in this administration spend 3.5 years being pushed around the federal bureaucracy. It then spent, on average, about 265 days in the White House. That would make the ideal time for Eversole to "start gathering support" about ... November of 2012. Are lawyers actually compensated for this kind of strategery?

Meanwhile, a supporter says, Eversole's actions were "wrong," but he was "not a crook." See story here.

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