Showing posts with label Taft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taft. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Obama: Second Only to Wilson and Coolidge in Commutations

Click on Image (Above) to Enlarge

Monday, May 14, 2012

Typical Outcomes of Clemency Requests Per Fiscal Year


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ProPublica: History of Pardons

The ProPublica web page has a feature entitled "Timeline: A History of Pardons" (linked here). We have informed ProPublica of the following errors / suggestions:

1. If the page intends to say George Washington's first pardon was granted in 1794, that is incorrect. The first known Washington clemency warrant was signed in 1791. If the intent is to imply the first Whiskey Rebel pardon was granted in 1794, that is also incorrect. The first of that batch was granted in 1797.

2. U.S. v. Wilson should be dated 1833, not 1832.

3. Arthur O'Bryan was pardoned by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, not 1864.

4. Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set the leg of a fleeing John Wilkes Booth, and lied about his relationship with Booth, was pardoned in 1869, not 1868. And his pardon was not based on the grounds of innocence. This is noteworthy because the Mudd family has, for a long, long time now, tried to have his name cleared via a pardon based on an assertion of innocence.

5. It is also worthy of note that Spengler and Arnold (Lincoln assassination conspirators) were pardoned just before Andrew Johnson left office, again, in 1869, not 1868.

6. Andrew Johnson's post-Civil War decisions are best described as amnesties, not pardons.

7. Charles W. Morse was not pardoned. His prison sentence was commuted by President Taft. Furthermore, the commutation of sentence was granted in January of 1912, not 1908.

8. The ruling in Biddle is best summarize as follows: Pardons are not private acts of grace but are, instead, best thought of as the by-product of a constitutional scheme which aims to determine what is in the best interest of the public. Consequently, the thoughts, desires and wishes of the recipient are irrelevant.

9. Richard Nixon granted Jimmy Hoffa a conditional commutation of sentence, not a presidential pardon. The condition was, of course, challenged in federal court, until Hoffa had the poor taste to disappear.

11. Jimmy Carter granted an amnesty to Vietnam War era offenders.

12. George H.W. Bush did not pardon Orlando Bosch.

13. Readers should be aware that the data - which originate from the Department of Justice - are actually arranged by fiscal year, as opposed to calendar year.

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, August 21, 2010

Explorer. Oil Man. Liar. Pardoned!

On September 1, 1909, Dr. Frederick A. Cook sent a cable to the New York Herald which read:

REACHED NORTH POLE APRIL 21, 1908

The news of Dr. Cook’s achievement spread throughout the United States, and made headlines in Paris and Berlin. It looked like the story of the century was about to unfold in the pages of a struggling newspaper. But, consistent with a theme in Cook’s life, newspapers in London were somewhat skeptical of his claim.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Amazing Case of Charner Tidwell

On March 22, 1922, Warren Harding granted a pardon to a person that many considered to be the American version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Charner Tidwell was from a well respected family, and just seventeen years old when he was convicted of the murder of one Jim Brown (a husband and father of three children) and sentenced to life in prison.

Bad things seemed to happen to those that were involved in putting young Tidwell away. The constable that arrested him drove his own car under the wheels of a speeding train. The U.S. marshal who detained him died of tuberculosis. The district attorney in the case experienced an "untimely death" as well. So, the judge who sentenced Tidwell, being somewhat superstitious, decided to visit the young man in prison. Unfortunately, the visit happened to come on a day that the prisoners had scheduled a riot. The judge was shot dead in the chest.

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