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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Russia: Comeback for Pardons?

The Associated Press reports Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has "signaled" that he "may pardon more convicts than his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, who all but ended the practice during his eight-year term." Indeed, Putin abolished a presidential pardon commission early in his presidency. Ekho Moskvy radio claims more than 70,000 people were pardoned over nine years by recommendation of the commission Mr. Putin abolished in 2001. But the total dropped to only 42 in 2005 and nine in 2006. No one was pardoned in 2007 — the last full year of Putin's presidency. See story here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Russian Legal Team Dream: A U.S. President as Merciful as a Russian President!

RiaNovosti reports that the legal defense team of Russian businessman Viktor Bout (who is in solitary confinement, but claims he is not guilty) "will seek a pardon from U.S. President Barack Obama if appeals fail." One could view that news as evidence of one of the most impressive expressions of self-confidence in the legal profession in ages ... or as one of the most thinly veiled announcements of defeat and despair.

I mean, do these lawyers even know President Obama's record on clemency ?

Bout was given a 25-year sentence for "conspiring to kill U.S. nationals and sell arms to militants." More specifically:
Bout, a former Soviet military officer, was found guilty of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, including military officers and employees, conspiring to use anti-aircraft missiles, and selling millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. 
But his legal team observes that, in 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned a U.S. citizen accused of spying. 

Do they know Obama's DOJ is less merciful than Putin's regime?

It is reported that Bout’s defense "will also appeal to both the U.S. Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court" which - given what we know, and is well known - makes infinitely more sense than counting on a pardon. There is also the hope that the U.S. will extradite Bout to Russia so that he could serve his time there. See story here

Monday, July 6, 2009

Medvedev Pardons 16

The Moscow Times reports President Dmitry Medvedev has pardoned 16 prisoners who had been jailed for "minor offenses." The pardons follow what that Times calls a "dearth of pardons" under Vladimir Putin. Before Putin, pardons were granted by the thousands (13,000 in 2000 alone). See story here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lowry: No Pardons. No Firing.

At National Review, Rich Lowry argues President Trump should "do what’s hardest for him — nothing ... his instinct to lash out is his worst enemy" something that puts him "at more peril" than "any of the facts that have been uncovered by Mueller, congressional investigators or the press to this point."

Lowry argues firing Muleller would "endanger" Trump's presidency even though "the proverbial net, as far as we know, isn’t closing in." There is "no suggestion" in  Manafort's indictment of "any" of his "alleged wrongdoing, which dates back to 2006, had anything to do with the campaign." His failure to register as a foreign lobbyist "for his work for Ukrainian political players, a fairly common offense among lobbyists" is "usually remedied by an amended filing."

The accusation of laundering millions of dollars (for which "we have no evidence of yet") need not "directly affect Trump."

As for George Papadopoulos, Lowry notes that his plea for lying to the FBI "actually involves his work for the campaign."
He misled investigators about the timing and nature of his contacts with Russians who wanted to set up a Vladimir Putin-Donald Trump meeting and spoke of dirt on Hillary Clinton. This is suggestive, but Papadopoulos was a bit player, and it’s not clear the talk went anywhere. 
Finally, Lowry argues "the option of pre-emptively pardoning everyone targeted by Mueller also is foolhardy." It would "associate the president with the lobbyist’s alleged malfeasance when the point should be to establish distance, and would convince everyone that Trump has something explosive to hide." See full editorial here

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Russia: 16 Pardons

Julia Ioffa of the Washington Post has an excellent piece in the Washington Post which informs us that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev granted 16 pardons in addition to the 4 that were granted to Russians accused of spying for the West and exchanged for 10 spies in the United States last week. Ioffa describes the 16 as mostly "obscure petty criminals or corrupt local officials." The article adds:
This group had little in common with the Russian intelligence officers accused of selling state secrets to the CIA, and that might have been the point. Pardoning the seemingly random convicts along with the higher-profile group seemed to be an important tactical maneuver by the Kremlin to play down the spy incident and deflect accusations that the law was being applied selectively.

"This was the president showing that he is ready to pardon not only under extraordinary circumstances but is also willing to exercise his constitutional power," said Alexey Makarkin, a political analyst with the Center for Political Technologies. "It was designed to show that any Russian can count on this option, not just a person for whom the U.S. asks."
Article 71 of the Russian constitution grants the president has the power to pardon citizens who appeal to him. Boris Yeltsin employed a panel of "rights activists and independent lawyers" to recommended cases for clemency and granted about 50,000 such requests. But  Vladimir Putin abandoned the use of the panel in 2001.

According to the story, pardons continue to be granted, But they are generally given to people who "have admitted guilt, served most of their sentence, exhibited good behavior or are somehow exceptional -- a mother of many children, say, or a veteran."  Lev Ponomaryov, a human rights activist says, "This is done on a regular basis. It is a necessary and important practice."

By our count, Medvedev has pardoned almost 60 people. To date, President Obama has yet to grant a single pardon or commutation of sentence. See complete Washington Post story here.

Medvedev Pardons:
16 pardons
4 pardons
21 pardons
16 pardons

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Mercy in Moscow than in D.C.


The Moscow Times reports President Dmitry Medvedev has pardoned 21 first-time offenders convicted of minor offenses in recognition of Orthodox Christmas. The action is also reported to be "a solid departure from the trend set by his predecessor" (Vladimir Putin) who pardoned 187 people in 2003 but only one in 2008. According to the Times, Medvedev pardoned 28 people last year. Medvedev is also said to have made "the liberalization of the justice system one of his priorities as president." President Boris Yeltsin pardoned thousands of people every year in the 1990s. See story here.

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