Showing posts with label Hayes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hayes. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Reporting on Pardons ... Tradition !

In November of 1911, the Washington Post reported President William Howard Taft was on a "record-setting" pace for pardons and would probably break the overall mark set by Theodore Roosevelt. But, in fact, Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland had both granted more pardons than Roosevelt.

And, when all was said and done, Taft didn't top Roosevelt (much less Grant or Cleveland). Nor did Taft top the marks set by presidents William McKinley or Rutherford B. Hayes. No, the "record-setting" pace finished sixth for that point in history! And nine out of the next ten presidents out-pardoned Taft as well!

In the same article, the Post informed its readers that Taft’s pardons were based “only on merits” and that “influence and politics” were “ignored.” Ah, the good old days.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ohio: Rutherford B. Hayes' Pardon Rules

As Governor of Ohio, Rutherford B. Hayes developed some personal "guidelines" with respect to pardons. First, Hayes suggested a pardon (or a “promise” of one) should never be granted “on the first presentation of the case.” Second, cases should be considered “all together” if “two or more" were "concerned in the crime.” Hayes observed “one is often called the dupe until he is pardoned; then the other becomes the dupe and the pardoned man the leader.” Third, Governor Hayes advised against pardoning any man who was not “provided with employment or the means of subsistence” or had no “friend” to “receive him as he comes out of prison.” Fourth, Hayes maintained that the opinions of judges, prosecuting attorneys "and some intelligent citizen of sound sense” were critical elements in sound clemency decision-making. And his final rule: any and all of the above rules could be “departed from in cases requiring it.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Aside

On April 30, 1877, Rutherford Hayes granted a presidential pardon to one John Smith of California for illegal possession of guitars!

Hmmm.

Where is this law today?

And how might we enforce it better?

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