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Thread: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I have to say, in a country founded on the belief that all people are created equal and opposed to government ruled by a corrupt sovereign, I find it passing strange that the US has provisions for a "king/queen" to pardon his/her subjects on a whim without sanction by a court or legislature.

    No one person in a democracy should have the power to overturn the decision of a jury and justice in a court of law, period.
    The difference here CJ is that the governor is answerable to the people while the corrupt monarch is likely answerable to no one.

    Executive pardon is simple another check in our elaborate system of checks and balances.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrepresented View Post
    I'm not against him correcting an unjust ruling, my concern is that the unjust laws still stand and are strengthened by the perception of oversight, rather than corrected.
    I agree but as a practical matter there's probably little the governor can do about that.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    I agree but as a practical matter there's probably little the governor can do about that.
    He can certainly lend his political power to a reform movement.
    "The side that stays within its fortifications is beaten." ~Napoleon

  4. #34
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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    The difference here CJ is that the governor is answerable to the people while the corrupt monarch is likely answerable to no one.

    Executive pardon is simple another check in our elaborate system of checks and balances.
    How is the governor answerable to the public when he's not standing for reelection? Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich is another example. There's no check or balance involved here - it's one person, heading out the door, overturning the justice system on a whim.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    How is the governor answerable to the public when he's not standing for reelection? Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich is another example. There's no check or balance involved here - it's one person, heading out the door, overturning the justice system on a whim.
    But he does stand for re-election eventually. Maybe not this year or next but eventually. Voting someone out of office is the Constitutional means that the electorate has to remove an executive or law maker that the electorate disagrees with. Granted it may take some time but that's the way our system is designed to work
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrepresented View Post
    He can certainly lend his political power to a reform movement.
    Absolutely. And I don't know that this governor is or isn't but pardon is one of the things he can unilaterally do.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    But he does stand for re-election eventually. Maybe not this year or next but eventually. Voting someone out of office is the Constitutional means that the electorate has to remove an executive or law maker that the electorate disagrees with. Granted it may take some time but that's the way our system is designed to work
    With all due respect, that's nonsense. What opportunity has the American public had to give Bill Clinton a voter's booth lesson as it relates to Marc Rich? None. Unless you're going to claim that the executive's party suffers electoral loss for the bone-headed pardons of their leader once he/she leaves office. Haley Barbour was no different, from the Republican side, when he left the Governorship of Mississippi and pardoned a violent offender who happened to work as his gardener at the Governor's mansion.

    You cannot claim the voters get to show their displeasure when the person who pardons never runs for office again.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    With all due respect, that's nonsense. What opportunity has the American public had to give Bill Clinton a voter's booth lesson as it relates to Marc Rich? None. Unless you're going to claim that the executive's party suffers electoral loss for the bone-headed pardons of their leader once he/she leaves office. Haley Barbour was no different, from the Republican side, when he left the Governorship of Mississippi and pardoned a violent offender who happened to work as his gardener at the Governor's mansion.

    You cannot claim the voters get to show their displeasure when the person who pardons never runs for office again.
    Yes I should have pointed out that if the executive decides to not run for re-election he's effectively insulated from voter wrath at the polls but that is true for any actions taken by a lame duck executive. The only real check in that case is the harm done to
    his legacy if his lame duck actions, including pardons, meet with popular disapproval.

    The system isn't perfect I agree but in it's defense I'd point out that our judicial heritage has always been to release the guilty in preference to incarcerating the innocent and executive pardon falls in line with that philosophy. Can executives abuse that power and free people who deserve to be in prison? Sure. But given that executives can also use that power as intended to free people in prison for what they legitimately see as miscarriages of justice, the drafters of the US and state Constitutions felt executive pardon is on balance a good thing. And I agree with that.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

  9. #39
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    Re: Arkansas governor to pardon son on drug charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    Yes I should have pointed out that if the executive decides to not run for re-election he's effectively insulated from voter wrath at the polls but that is true for any actions taken by a lame duck executive. The only real check in that case is the harm done to
    his legacy if his lame duck actions, including pardons, meet with popular disapproval.

    The system isn't perfect I agree but in it's defense I'd point out that our judicial heritage has always been to release the guilty in preference to incarcerating the innocent and executive pardon falls in line with that philosophy. Can executives abuse that power and free people who deserve to be in prison? Sure. But given that executives can also use that power as intended to free people in prison for what they legitimately see as miscarriages of justice, the drafters of the US and state Constitutions felt executive pardon is on balance a good thing. And I agree with that.
    On principle, you could be right - in practice, not so much so. Executives seldom pardon the truly innocent - the truly innocent seldom have the political or financial heft to sway an executive in their favour. Usually, the politically attuned and those who fund political parties, as in the Marc Rich case, are pardoned.

    I'd be much more supportive of a system that required executive pardons to be sanctioned by the legislative body in that jurisdiction. But then, I'm not American, so it's really not my battle - I was just pointing out the inconsistency of it.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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