Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Jack Johnson. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Jack Johnson. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Top Ten Clemency Stories of 2009

 10: In April, Senator John McCain announced that he would, once again, push for a presidential pardon on behalf of the long-dead boxer, Jack Johnson. Bill Clinton was the first president to ever issue a posthumous pardon (to the first African-American graduate of West Point, Henry Flipper). With good reason, every administration previous to Clinton refused to even entertain such applications. George Bush granted two posthumous pardons (one to Charlie Winters, the other unintentionally). But toward the end of this year, the Obama administration indicated that it would return to the policy of using the pardon power for the more practical purpose of providing real relief for those who are living (no offense to to the shallow, desperate, well-after-the-fact and purely symbolic politics of Congress, the least popular branch).



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pardon John Brown?

David S. Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights has the perfect book promotion gimic. He is calling on both President Obama and the governor of Virginia to pardon John Brown, who was hanged back in 1859. And Reynolds has started a petition online. We suppose Brown would have to take a number, behind Jack Johnson, Marcus Garvey, Samuel Mudd, O. Henry, Ellis H. Parker and who knows how many others. But Reynolds says there are "compelling reasons for the pardon."
See article here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clemency Experts on Obama, Jack Johnson

It is a sad and telling commentary on the emptiness of the rhetoric of hope and change [that] President Obama was not able to find even a single case in the massive federal criminal justice system meriting some kind of clemency relief during his first 100 days in office. I’m very disappointed. - Douglas Berman

Pardoning used to be considered a part of the routine housekeeping business of the presidency and hundreds of grants were made every year, without fanfare, to ordinary people. But the system broke down in the Clinton administration and the Justice Department’s pardon office has become a place where petitions for presidential mercy go to die. - Margaret Love

[A Jackson pardon] would send the message that pardons are only for dead people - Daniel Kobil

[A] posthumous pardon would further trivialize the significance of a power that should, instead, be both profound and relevant. Instead of engaging in the gratuitous, symbolic politics of the legislature, the president should reserve the pardon power to address the real problems of the thousands of living people whose applications are sitting in the Department of Justice - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

Watch List: Obama "Ducking?"

In a very odd piece, the UK's Times Online is suggesting that President Obama has, somehow or another, "ducked out" of pardoning the long dead boxer Jack Johnson. The evidence? The president's "grim caution" in handling the request! Yes, you almost have to read it to believe it! More seriously, the piece notes:
Professor Douglas Berman, a constitutional expert at Ohio State University, noted last week that only three of 38 presidents between Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan failed to grant pardons during their first 100 days in office ... Obama is now in his 10th month as president and has not granted a single clemency or commutation of sentence. “It is a sad and telling commentary on the emptiness of the rhetoric of hope and change [that] President Obama was not able to find even a single case in the massive federal criminal justice system meriting some kind of clemency relief during his first 100 days in office,” said Berman. “I’m very disappointed.”
And, the piece asks the obvious question:
And is a 100year-old case really the best place to start when the Justice Department is considering more than 1,300 petitions submitted to the pardon office so far this year ?
See the entire article here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama: Presidential Pardon Watch List

As President Obama goes into day 21 without granting a pardon, it seems appropriate to crank up the new, revised, presidential Pardon Watch List.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing) application denied by Bush
- ACORN (voter fraud)
- Weldon Angelos - application in
- Marion Barry (income tax evasion
- Jim Black (corruption) application in
- Rod Blagojevich (impeached) federal trial ahead
- Edwin Edwards (racketerring) application rejected by Bush

- Katie Hall (mail fraud) application in
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- William Jefferson (accused of bribery) trial in May
- Jack Johnson (violation of Mann Act)
application in
- Marion Jones (steroids) application in
- Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac execs
- Michael Milken (junk bond king)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring)
- Tony Rezko (corruption) month ago, a "spokesman" said it will not happen
- George Ryan (corruption) application in
- Richard Scrushy (bribery)

- Don Siegelman (trading favors for contributions)
- Martha Stewart
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Watch List: Countdown. One Last Look!

The final hours are ticking down on the Bush administration. So that means there is time for just one more look at our Pardon Watch List. When Obama takes office, we erase the slate - or most of it at any rate. New game in town.

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing) Denied (12/23/08)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Weldon Angelos - Application in
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens Because we are insane and have too much time on our hands
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien) Sentence commuted (1/19/09)
- Randy Cunningham Denied
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Denied
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act) Pardon of Charlie Winters a positive sign
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in. If not Bush, Obama
- Bernard Kerik (corruption) A sleeper in the pile
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice) To most, "the big one"
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Denied
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Denied (Slate said "excellent chance")
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds) Hey, if we are pardoning dead people!
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents) Denied
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien) Sentence commuted (1/19/09)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in. Maybe he walks, if Edwards walks too
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption) less than the snowball's chance, for now
- Don Siegelman
(corruption) less than the snowball's chance, for now
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice) Waiting for Obama
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws) Some are betting on it!
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI) Slate says "good chance"
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring) waiting for Obama
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering) Another sleeper.
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Pardoned December 23, 2008.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watch List: Update

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Bernard Kerik (corruption)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in.
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Pardoned December 23, 2008.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Watch List: Bush Pardons Charlie Winters

It is now reported that President Bush has granted a posthumous pardon to Charlie Winters who is featured on our Pardon Watch List. To learn about Winters' fascinating story, read our post of November 22 here.

This is, of course, great news for supporters of boxing legend Jack Johnson, who also seek a posthumous pardon. It was not generally known if the Bush administration would go this route - first opened by Bill Clinton (with the pardon of Henry Flipper). Speaking of Henry, Mr. President, if you are going to do this kind of thing, don't forget O. Henry!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Watch List: Looking for 13 Or More

In a way, 13 is the magic number right now. If President Bush grants at least 13 more pardons and commutations, his second term will look like his first (and most), with the highest number of pardons and commutations falling in the fourth and final year. If it is going to happen, and modern history and Bush's own behavior matter, one would guess that it will happen this month. Bush has generally favored the month of December for clemency decisions, a strategy that has been quite prominent in the last seven administrations. Here are the individuals we are (and have been) watching:

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Bernard Kerik (corruption)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in.
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Application in.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watch List: Ryan In (Finally)

With some modifications.

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Bernard Kerik (corruption)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption) Application in.
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Application in.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Watch List: Black is In

It's official, Conrad Black has "recently submitted legal bills to Sun-Times Media Group, Inc., some of which referred to work done in pursuit of a clemency plea, according to sources familiar with the matter."

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice) Application in.
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine) X - sentence commuted to end December 22, 2008 (11/24/08).
- Florita Bell Griffin (bribery, theft, money laundering)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering) Released, September 4, 2008
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption)
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- James Tobin (false statement to FBI)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Charles T. Winters (violation neutrality laws). Application in.
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Obama Pardons

It is only 11 am here in the Chicagoland area, but who are we kidding anyway? It is time to think about who will be on on the Pardon Watch List once Barack Obama takes the oath of office to be the next President of the United States. Few candidates have brought so much baggage with them in this area. Here are some obvious possibilities:

1. Tony Rezko - Early supporter of Obama in Illinois and enthusiastic fund raiser. Served on Obama's Senate finance committee. Recently convicted on 16 counts of influence peddling. Also faces trial in Chicago for a $10 million in business fraud and in Nevada for unpaid casino-gambling debts. Some unknown spokesman for Obama has said that no pardon will be forthcoming. Obama himself has said nothing and, throughout the rigorous vetting process of the long campaign, not single reporter even bothered to ask.

2. Larry Walsh - Campaigned for Obama in rural and farming areas of the state and became "tight friends" during their tenure in the Illinois Senate, bonding over games of poker. Obama also endorsed Walsh in a county executive election bid. Walsh recently had his offices "raided" by the FBI.

3. ACORN workers - With vote fraud perpetuated by ACORN workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Washington, Colorado, Missouri and Michigan, an Obama Justice Department - even one headed by the likes of Eric Holder - might have to prosecute someone, somewhere. That is when it might be reasonable to expect the Community Organizer in Chief to extend clemency.

4. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac execs - It is not likely that an Obama Justice Department will engage in any serious investigation of possible misconduct in the institutions which played a lead role in timely trashing of the economy. Should Republicans somehow force Obama's hand, however, there is the fact that the top three recipients of Mae and Mac campaign contributions over the last ten years are Christopher Dodd (D), Barack Obama (D) and John Kerry (D). Obama's ranking in second place is, of course, downright astounding given his brief tenure in the Senate.

5. Martha Stewart - Democratic candidate supporter extraordinaire (in the manner of Peter Yarrow, pardoned by Jimmy Carter) who has also been a fairly vocal supporter of Obama. Look for a pardon statement which speaks not only of her charitable contributions and community service, but also of questionable guilt and over-zealous prosecution. Expect no chat whatsoever of the notion that accepting the pardon implies guilt - not even from the Washington Post.

6. Jack Johnson - If President Bush does not grant this symbolic pardon, to the dead African-American boxer long ago convicted of violating the Mann Act, Obama just might. John McCain's support for clemency will make the whole episode great PR.

7. Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy - The former Alabama Governor (Siegelman) has long linked his conviction to partisan animosity in the Bush administration and the machinations of the evil Karl Rove. Obama can grant pardons, encourage Congress to conduct a show "investigation" and then let Don and Dick tell their story.

8. Edwin Edwards - This former two-time Democratic governor of Louisiana was convicted of racketeering and is serving out a 10-year sentence. He is 81-years old and well into the sixth year of the sentence.

9. John Forte - Grammy winning African American recording artist who maintained his innocence in the face of a drug trafficking charge and was smacked with a mandatory sentence of 14 years. Clemency is supported by singer Carly Simon, a long-time Democratic contributor and Obama supporter.

10. William Jefferson - Federal investigators raided the congressional office of this Democratic Representative and a raid on one of his homes uncovered $90,000 in bribe money stashed in a freezer. He was then indicted by a federal grand jury for misusing his congressional office and stripped of his post in the Ways and Means Committee. Jefferson has pleaded innocent, but will not discuss the case publicly.

Some possible carry-overs from the Bush administration:
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Marion Jones (steroids)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Watch List: Crunch Time Ahead

When Obama steps into the White House, the Watch List may feature some folks at ACORN, Tony Rezko, and Larry Walsh. But, for now, the list is as follows:

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent) X - released (6/5/08)
- Claude Allen (theft)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice)
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Randy Cunningham Application in.
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering) Application in.
- John Forte (cocaine)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder X - sentence commuted to 11 years (5/9/08)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids) Application in.
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism) Application in.
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering)
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations) Application in.
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- Tom Noe (illegal campaign contributions)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Chibueze Okorie (driver for a heroine ring) Application in.
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (spying on behalf of Israel X - President says "no change" (5/13/08)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption)
- David Safavian (lying to investigators)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Ted Stevens (violation of ethics laws)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Watch List: Update

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice)
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Roger Clemens
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering)
- John Forte (cocaine)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism)
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering)
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations)
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (delivering classified information to foreign government)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)
- Robert Steve Vukelic (knowledge of a felony, failing to reporting it to authorities)
- Mark E. Whitacre (wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering)
- Jason Charles Yeager (methamphetamine charges)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Context: They're Ba-ack! The Ghosts of Diggs and Caminetti

The New York Times reports that Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel. Spitzer made a brief public appearance this afternoon, but did not resign. Instead, he said politics was not about "individuals" and described the affair as a “private matter” that violated his "obligations" to his family. But the story clearly has legs and he may not be in that position much longer. The Times notes Federal prosecutors rarely charge clients in prostitution cases, but the Mann Act (1910) made it a crime to transport someone between states for the purpose of prostitution. The Times would have been more thorough to also add, "debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose."

Students of constitutional law will recognize/remember the Mann Act as the focus of a classic U.S. Supreme Court case, Caminetti v. U.S. (1917), and one of those ultra-spectacular, scandal-ridden "trials of the century!" Clinton prosecutors had their blue dress, but Caminetti's prosecutors had a bloody sheet! On the other hand, Con Law students may not be aware of the fact that Andrew Caminetti (the son of a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives) and his street-running side-kick Maury Diggs (the son of a California Democratic state senator) and were both very quietly (actually very, very quietly) pardoned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Don't expect to read about that in your Con Law text any time soon.

Should Gov. Spitzer be convicted (of anything), he stands a much-better-than-average chance of also benefiting from a presidential pardon - the irony being that, as governor, he has been notoriously stingy with the clemency power. Well, actually, there is another, even greater irony: Spitzer is on record as supporting a presidential pardon for long-since deceased boxing legend Jack Johnson, who was also convicted for ... violating the Mann Act! Kinda has that feel of Bill Clinton pardoning all of those individuals for lying under oath and making false statements to government agents, doesn't it?

Why might Spitzer be pardoned? Because 1) former governors in legal trouble have a pretty darn good record for such and 2) it appears likely to many that the next president will be a fellow Democrat. Spitzer is, after all, one of those ever-so-popular "Superdelegates." Either way, he will probably not be treated in the manner suggested by one South Carolina Senator who, back in the day, recommended that Diggs and Caminetti be "shot like dogs." So, it may be one more addition for our Presidential Pardon "Watch List". See today's Times article here.

NOTE: Spitzer assumed office in January of 2007 and pardoned no one until the month of December. His first pardon was granted to an individual who had been released from custody ten years earlier. This came as an exceptional disappointment to those who remembered that he campaigned on a promise to reform drug sentencing laws. One report (here) claims that, at the time of the first pardon, there were over 300 individuals who had applied and qualified for commutations.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Presidential Pardon "Watch List"

I wanted to bring over (from the Libby Pardon blog the following pardon "watch list." Below, you will find a list of individuals involved in high profiles cases, many of which have organized efforts to obtain a presidential pardon. I have also provided updates to the original list (in red). The links provide some background into each case and I will continue to follow each on this blog. So, here it is:

Presidential Pardon Watch List - P.S. Ruckman, Jr.

- Clarence Aaron (drug dealing)
- Willie Mays Aikens (sold drugs to an undercover agent)
- Conrad Black (fraud and obstruction of justice)
- Duane Chapman (deprivation of liberty) X - won extradition battle (11/6/07)
- Jose Compean (illegal arrest of an alien)
- Edwin Edwards (convicted of racketeering)
- John Forte (cocaine)
- Gilmer Hernandez (civil rights violation)
- Lawrence Hutchins (soldier, murder)
- Ron Isley (tax evasion)
- Jack Johnson (violated the Mann Act)
- Marion Jones (steroids)
- Scooter Libby (perjury, obstruction of justice)
- John Walker Lindh
(terrorism)
- David H. McNab (smuggling and money laundering)
-
Michael Milken
(securities and reporting violations)
- Julius Nasso (conspiracy, extortion)
- O.Henry (embezzling bank funds)
- Lance Persson
(drug dealing)
- Leonard Pielter
(double murder of FBI agents)
- The Pig (tasting so good) X - White House spokesman says "no" (11/18/07)
- Jonathan Pollard (delivering classified information to foreign government)
- Ignacio Ramos
(illegal arrest of an alien)
- George Ryan (corruption)
- Richard Scrushy (corruption)
- Don Siegelman
(corruption)
- Jeffrey Skilling (fraud, conspiracy, insider trading)
- Martha Stewart (obstruction of justice)
- Michael Vick (conspiracy to operate interstate dogfighting ring)

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