On Friday, August 25, 2017, timed to get big ratings, President Trump announced his pardon of the famous unscrupulous Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
As we are painfully aware, Mr. Trump knows little about how America works and appears entirely unaware of the rule of law and the powers of our judicial branch of government. He also is not wise enough to see through the political crap that surrounds Mr. Arpaio and the “story” conservatives spin that merely justifies Arpaio’s behavior and perpetuates his practices of racism.
Sheriff Arpaio’s Mariposa County is a large county in Arizona containing the Phoenix metro area. These conservatives who can be described in no other way than racists have tolerated numerous lawsuits over the years, all revolving around Arpaio’s racism and illegal handling of people. This lawsuit for which Arpaio is being pardoned by Trump cost the Mariposa County taxpayers $70 million dollars according to AZ Central. Imagine what the cost has been to Mariposa County taxpayers in the 24 years Sheriff Arpaio was in his post!
The conservatives who think Arpaio’s case is all about politics are going to be given a gut wrenching reality check thanks to Judge Susan Bolton, although they are so delusional at this point they may not even notice. While the Judge has agreed to throw out Arpaio’s sentencing hearing, he’s not going to get to just walk away.
You see, there are guidelines even the President ought to follow when pardoning people. One of these criteria requires a minimum of five years post-conviction. A second criteria is that the pardonee has accepted responsibility and shown remorse.
Of course, in this case, it hasn’t been five years; in fact, the Sheriff had not yet been sentenced. He neither has he shown remorse nor admitted his guilt.
Trump’s way is to just do whatever he pleases regardless of the guidelines or rules. He acts as if he “boss” or king. Additionally, there is likely another agenda being played out here. The President probably intends to send a signal to other people currently under investigation in the Russia probe, that he’ll just pardon them. [A signal of “no need to cooperate.”]
But back to the matter at hand. The Department of Justice website has all the guidelines of the issuing of a Pardon, and they state the following:
3. Five-year waiting period required
Under the Department’s rules governing petitions for executive clemency, 28 C.F.R. §§ 1.1 et seq., an applicant must satisfy a minimum waiting period of five years before he becomes eligible to apply for a presidential pardon of his federal conviction.
4. Reason for seeking pardon
In answering question 20, you should state the specific purpose for which you are seeking pardon … In addition, you should bear in mind that a presidential pardon is ordinarily a sign of forgiveness and is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or release from confinement. A pardon is not a sign of vindication and does not connote or establish innocence. For that reason, when considering the merits of a pardon petition, pardon officials take into account the petitioner’s acceptance of responsibility, remorse, and atonement for the offense.
It likely comes as no surprise given who our President is that neither of these criteria has been met.
Thursday, August 30, 2017, Judge Bolton scheduled a hearing for October 4th. The Trump team must publicly argue why Arpaio who is clearly a racist and was convicted of this racism should walk free after refusing to end his discriminatory racial profiling policies.
In turn, the State of Arizona will get to argue quite publicly why the Sheriff should not be pardoned. The “conservatives” who would make this about politics better have some cast iron stomachs because the attorneys for Arizona will be able to go into great detail about the heinousness of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his and his staff’s practices. This man is responsible for forcing women (not white women, just women of color, Hispanic primarily) to give birth while chained in shackles to walls of their cells and to sit in their menses without hygiene products. He was proud of what he called his concentration camps, and he refused to investigate sex crimes if they were against Latina children. There is little explanation and there no consequences for the 160 people that have died in his cells. His guards are abusive, and there is little oversight.
It’s hard to say what will happen after October 4th, but it’s not hard to imagine Judge Susan Bolton will have something more to say. The criteria of five years have not been met and even if she waived that due to Arpaio’s old age, he shows no remorse. Zip. Nada.
In fact, the pardon has emboldened this unAmerican law figure.
We’ll have to be patient and wait till October 4th I suppose. If nothing else, it seems likely that the “President” will get a rude awakening that he can’t just snap his fingers or clap his hands and subvert our judicial and legal systems. His colluding associates should pay attention.
While we wait we can send our help to Texas.
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