Pardon people, not turkeys

  • Article by: MARK OSLER
  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 6:15 PM

Under President Obama, the odds of clemency or commutation are shamefully slim.

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statikNov. 19, 12 6:36 PM

Why not both? Tofurky roast is better than turkey.

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taftjNov. 19, 12 6:45 PM

The writer makes the hallow argument of the founding father's "intentions". The founding fathers didn't intend for women to vote and they didn't intend to abolish slavery. This is not 1776, things change. In my own opinion, I think a pardon from the oval office should be extremely rare. but that's just my own opinion.

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kvarnoldNov. 19, 12 6:59 PM

First let me say professor, the turkey pardon should go on. It is a moment of levity during an otherwise stressful holiday. That said, the pardoning of criminals is not to be taken lightly. I cannot know the presidents take of course. But of he example you cite, what previous crimes and incidents was this man involved in? Was this his first? And if not, what were they? As a former policeman, I have seen many dangerous people walk away and I do agree, the drug laws have been too draconian for people who are otherwise peaceful. I really don't care if they do drugs as long as they don't sell to my children. But if this man carried a weapon, has he in the past? Has he been involved in ANY violent crimes previous to the is conviction? To gain public sympathy for an incarcerated individual, I think you must represent this as well. It is tantamount to taking a sound bite of a politician and using it to explain an entire philosophy, as we have had too much of recently...

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george13Nov. 19, 12 7:25 PM

It will be a "ceremony rich in irony" when, and ONLY when, turkeys start committing heinous crimes. End of discussion.

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faustusNov. 19, 12 7:44 PM

I think this kind of thing is a fine old tradition. I wouldn't want to be the first president to say, "No! Off with his head!" I seriously doubt the Obamas, or any other presidential family in the White House, has done without a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving - so some turkey or other did not get "pardoned." I'd like to extend it to the National Christmas Tree as well. Let's pardon that dear old Vermont or New Hampshire fir each year - plant one on the White House grounds and decorate it each year. Won't be long before it's as huge as the conifer they cut each year. Get another started so that when the one decorated finally dies, the other will be ready for decoration each year.

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wickeywackeyNov. 19, 12 8:15 PM

Let the marijuana people go, for a start.

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liora51Nov. 19, 12 9:49 PM

So--if Obama pardons people will the Republicans castigate his choices? Or maybe he should just wait until he has his own "Scooter" Libby? Or maybe Obama has been trying to avoid the Lee Atwater strategy of marrying Obama to a violent criminal?

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jbpaperNov. 19, 12 9:55 PM

"Under Obama, an applicant's chance is slightly less than 1 in 5,000." --- Finally, something I like about Obama. You can argue the sentences are too extreme, which I might agree with if I knew the whole story and not just Mr Osler's version, but the fact is that is what the guidelines were when he committed the crime. It's very simple, if you don't want to go to jail don't commit crimes that will send you there.

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gimbelNov. 19, 1210:16 PM

I remember all the bruhaha when Clinton pardoned Mark Rich. It was bruted about that Clinton was paid off by Rich's wife through campaign contributions or some such. Rich was.....well, a very rich man but his gains were ill gotten, as I recall. It was a scandal mostly ginned up by the tireless Clinton haters led by Richard Mellon Scaif and it fizzled out after Clinton left office.

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mdachsNov. 19, 1210:34 PM

Jbpaper, yes, I agree with you! Finally, after 4 years in office, I have found something that he has (not) done that is good. I sincerely hope that his staff does not remind him about his pardon power, because I truly fear what kinds of pardons he would make - he would surely exhibit the incredibly poor judgment in pardons that he has demonstrated on nearly every other issue and question.

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