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-   -   Pardons (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348912)

Mader Levap 12th January 2021 02:34 PM

Why you even want to preserve pardon powers at all? Down with it, I say.

Thor 2 12th January 2021 03:52 PM

Yes I believe it should be done away with also. It's just something handed down from the time of monarchs, as has been mentioned by others here. I haven't seen a convincing argument in the above posts, that sways me from this view. Why the USA would adopt this when they were thumbing their noses at the British monarchy is strange.

Segnosaur 12th January 2021 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13358627)
Why you even want to preserve pardon powers at all? Down with it, I say.

I gave reasons why you might want to have a president with the power to pardon/commute sentences back on the first page.

In the hands of a decent president who uses it wisely, it can be a good thing. However, I recognize that it is prone to abuse, so SOME modifications would be in order... explicitly banning self-pardons, perhaps the ability of congress to over-ride a pardon (perhaps if 2/3rds vote for it).

Thermal 12th January 2021 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ahhell (Post 13358451)
I don't think it should be random but I don't see much need for a legal reasoning. Things like, "This old lady has spent enough time in Jail" or "This guy has clearly changed" would generally be fine by me, assuming they're true.

I'd rather hear "this guy was prosecuted and convicted unjustly" as a minimum, and the legal support that the law was not followed or applied unfairly. "This convict seems nice" is not working for me.

Thor 2 12th January 2021 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thermal (Post 13358818)
I'd rather hear "this guy was prosecuted and convicted unjustly" as a minimum, and the legal support that the law was not followed or applied unfairly. "This convict seems nice" is not working for me.


Well I agree with your final line but have trouble with the first.

Why would a president be able to, with authority, assess that the guy was " prosecuted and convicted unjustly". Does the president have some omnicompetent capability?

Thermal 13th January 2021 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 13359056)
Well I agree with your final line but have trouble with the first.

Why would a president be able to, with authority, assess that the guy was " prosecuted and convicted unjustly". Does the president have some omnicompetent capability?

No, but he has people who petition cases to him where a travesty has gone down, and he is basically the last hope to right the injustice. Things like a black man getting railroaded by an all-white Southern jury, or a man convicted of murder whose public defender slept through the trial, that kind of thing. Chelsea Manning had her sentence commuted by President Obama on his way out the door.

ahhell 13th January 2021 08:33 AM

Setting aside whether a chief executive of the government should have the pardon power:

My new proposed amendment:
1. The president can not pardon themselves.
2. No pardons between November and February.
3. Pardons shall be issued with the advice and consent of the Senate?
4. The president shall specify the crime for which with pardon is being issued.

That last one is to prevent "I pardon all those guys for who stormed the Capital for anything and everything. May not be necessary.

As to whether or not the president and governors should have the power. I just don't see a problem with it, I just think this current office holder has revealed some issues that just weren't that big a deal until him. Practically, I think it would be much harder to pass an amendment to get rid of it entirely than to just add some reasonable and modest limits.

I'm currently listening to a constitutional scholar who thinks that a self pardon could be unconstitutional and it is certainly impeachable. Also, it appears that there may have been one territorial governor that has pardoned himself in the 19th century.

Spektator 13th January 2021 08:41 AM

Reportedly, when lawyers advised Trump that he could not pardon himself, the president decided he wouldn't pardon anyone. Or more accurately, he placed pardons on hold, no doubt dismaying Rudy Giuliani.

Darat 13th January 2021 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ahhell (Post 13359435)
Setting aside whether a chief executive of the government should have the pardon power:

My new proposed amendment:
1. The president can not pardon themselves.
2. No pardons between November and February.
3. Pardons shall be issued with the advice and consent of the Senate?
4. The president shall specify the crime for which with pardon is being issued.

That last one is to prevent "I pardon all those guys for who stormed the Capital for anything and everything. May not be necessary.

As to whether or not the president and governors should have the power. I just don't see a problem with it, I just think this current office holder has revealed some issues that just weren't that big a deal until him. Practically, I think it would be much harder to pass an amendment to get rid of it entirely than to just add some reasonable and modest limits.

I'm currently listening to a constitutional scholar who thinks that a self pardon could be unconstitutional and it is certainly impeachable. Also, it appears that there may have been one territorial governor that has pardoned himself in the 19th century.

I think that is a very important point but I would go one step further, there should have to have been a conviction before a pardon can be issued.

JoeMorgue 13th January 2021 08:46 AM

1. No self pardons.
2. No pardons for direct family members.
3. No pardons for anything you are directly involved in.
4. The President can grant a pardon, but someone else has to propose it first.
5. The pardon can only be for a specific crime that the person has already been convicted of.
6. Accepting the pardon is an admission of guilt of the crime.
7. No pardons during the lame duck period (although honestly the 'lame duck' period needs to go away or be severely shortened anyway)

Segnosaur 13th January 2021 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spektator (Post 13359447)
Reportedly, when lawyers advised Trump that he could not pardon himself, the president decided he wouldn't pardon anyone. Or more accurately, he placed pardons on hold, no doubt dismaying Rudy Giuliani.

One of the interesting parts about that article is the following quote from reporter Johnathan Karl:
"The president has been warned, David, by some of his lawyers that if he goes ahead and pardons himself, he could be more vulnerable to civil lawsuits, including from some of those injured in the Capitol riot, because a self-pardon would be seen as an admission that he did something wrong that he would need to be pardoned for"

In another thread, some posters were suggesting Trump might try the self-pardon because "what has he got to lose". Well, that's a pretty good indication about what he could lose.

ZirconBlue 13th January 2021 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ahhell (Post 13358306)
Meh, the pardon power really isn't that sweeping. Mostly its been used sparingly and judiciously and most presidents have had a few late term controversy.

That being said, it should be limited somewhat. At the very least and amendment should clarify that the president can't pardon himself. I don't fault the framers for not thinking that that particular clarification would be needed, nobody else did prior to about 3 years ago.

As I said elsewhere, I think we should also include a congressional ability to overturn a pardon or maybe require congressional approval? Kind of like appointments. Since we're add it, ban pardons between November and February, just to make sure the president and his party can be held accountable for the really bad ones.

We've seen Mitch's abuse of the Senates "Advise and Consent" powers over the last 12 years, so I have concerns there. If we're doing a Constitutional Amendment, anyway, I'd say we should revise that portion to state that Senate be at least required to have a floor vote on every nomination within a reasonable period of time (say 60 days).



Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13359454)
1. No self pardons.
2. No pardons for direct family members.
3. No pardons for anything you are directly involved in.
4. The President can grant a pardon, but someone else has to propose it first.
5. The pardon can only be for a specific crime that the person has already been convicted of.
6. Accepting the pardon is an admission of guilt of the crime.
7. No pardons during the lame duck period (although honestly the 'lame duck' period needs to go away or be severely shortened anyway)

I'm ambivalent about the highlighted. Surely some of the people pardoned are not actually guilty of the crimes they were convicted of? If so, then requiring them to admit guilt seems like kicking them when they're down.

Tommok 13th January 2021 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trustbutverify (Post 13358401)
IThe President should not be able to pardon himself, his VP, his administrative appointments (Cabinet, etc) or their immediate families.

Or anyone who has anything to do with him at all. The power is not intended (or should never be meant) to benefit a president personally in even the slightest way. Any remote appearance of that should preclude him from even considering the pardon.

You know, corruption and stuff.

Segnosaur 13th January 2021 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13359454)
1. No self pardons.
2. No pardons for direct family members.
3. No pardons for anything you are directly involved in.
4. The President can grant a pardon, but someone else has to propose it first.
5. The pardon can only be for a specific crime that the person has already been convicted of.

One problem I can see with that...

It eliminates the ability for presidents to issue pardons like when Carter pardoned all Vietnam draft dodgers. I don't think it would be practical to have all all of them arrested.
Quote:

6. Accepting the pardon is an admission of guilt of the crime.
As others have pointed out... the trouble with that one is that it eliminates the chance of a pardon for someone who is truly innocent (e.g. if evidence is found exonerating them.)
Quote:

7. No pardons during the lame duck period (although honestly the 'lame duck' period needs to go away or be severely shortened anyway)
That one isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it also doesn't bother me that much. I recognize that there may be cases where pardons are morally right but could be politically damaging (e.g. Obama commuting the sentence of Manning...) and thus allowing a president to issue a pardon in the 'lame duck' part of their presidency may sometimes be a good thing.

The caveat is that there are additional safeguards (such as your 'no self pardons', or as another poster suggested, some way for the senate to challenge pardons).

Norman Alexander 13th January 2021 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 13359454)
1. No self pardons.
2. No pardons for direct family members.
3. No pardons for anything you are directly involved in.
4. The President can grant a pardon, but someone else has to propose it first.
5. The pardon can only be for a specific crime that the person has already been convicted of.
6. Accepting the pardon is an admission of guilt of the crime.
7. No pardons during the lame duck period (although honestly the 'lame duck' period needs to go away or be severely shortened anyway)

8. No pardon can be pre-emptive. Only for crimes that have been committed and convicted in the past.

trustbutverify 13th January 2021 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommok (Post 13359810)
Or anyone who has anything to do with him at all. The power is not intended (or should never be meant) to benefit a president personally in even the slightest way. Any remote appearance of that should preclude him from even considering the pardon.

You know, corruption and stuff.

Yes, I agree. There should also be an appeal process to overturn any pardon with a significant appearance of self-interest. The standard must be strict.

dudalb 13th January 2021 07:01 PM

I expect a few outrageous pardons tc come down any day now just to try to distract from the riots and the impeachment.

Squeegee Beckenheim 14th January 2021 03:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13360203)
I expect a few outrageous pardons tc come down any day now just to try to distract from the riots and the impeachment.

Reports from the White House suggest that staffers are unwilling to fill out the paperwork that would be required for Trump to pardon anybody. If those reports are true, then there will be no more pardons for anybody.

Segnosaur 14th January 2021 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13359997)
8. No pardon can be pre-emptive. Only for crimes that have been committed and convicted in the past.

That is already the case.

ZirconBlue 14th January 2021 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Segnosaur (Post 13360689)
That is already the case.

Then how does Ford's pardon of Nixon work? Or Carter's pardon of draft dodgers?

Segnosaur 14th January 2021 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZirconBlue (Post 13360728)
Quote:

8. No pardon can be pre-emptive. Only for crimes that have been committed and convicted in the past.
Quote:

That is already the case.
Then how does Ford's pardon of Nixon work? Or Carter's pardon of draft dodgers?

I was referring to the 'crimes committed' part of the previous statement.

In other words, a president can say "I pardon person X for shooting someone yesterday", but they can't say "I pardon person X for shooting someone tomorrow".

Ford's pardon of Nixon was for crimes that occurred previously. He didn't list specific crimes, but they were only for things that occurred in a previous, specific time frame.

(Now, you also mentioned the issue of 'convicted in the past', but since someone already brought up the issue of conviction, I assumed you were referring to the 'commission of crime')

trustbutverify 19th January 2021 11:49 AM

Trump's fans on the left (and libertarian right) have been encouraging/bribing him to pardon Assange (and Snowden, to a lesser degree). The implication being that doing so would represent a final revenge on the evil liberals, and in return, Assange fanatics would aggressively campaign to rehabilitate his image as a populist hero. I wonder if he'll do it.

Thermal 19th January 2021 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trustbutverify (Post 13366668)
Trump's fans on the left (and libertarian right) have been encouraging/bribing him to pardon Assange (and Snowden, to a lesser degree). The implication being that doing so would represent a final revenge on the evil liberals, and in return, Assange fanatics would aggressively campaign to rehabilitate his image as a populist hero. I wonder if he'll do it.

No way. Assange is nothing but a loose cannon now, who can't help but might hurt Republican branding. Anything released now would likely be from the R administration. Biden's crew is pretty boring. Same for Snowden. Real news is bad news for the political right.

trustbutverify 19th January 2021 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thermal (Post 13366680)
No way. Assange is nothing but a loose cannon now, who can't help but might hurt Republican branding. Anything released now would likely be from the R administration. Biden's crew is pretty boring. Same for Snowden. Real news is bad news for the political right.

Why would Trump care about any of that? He couldn't care less for the political right or the Republican party. Assange (and his few remaining loyalists left at Wikileaks) would never distribute anything damaging to Trump... they're in love with him.

Trebuchet 19th January 2021 03:28 PM

It's 5:30 PM in DC and no pardons yet, as far as I know. Is he waiting til the evening news is over?

alfaniner 19th January 2021 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13366942)
It's 5:30 PM in DC and no pardons yet, as far as I know. Is he waiting til the evening news is over?

The CNN chyron says it will be any moment now. But of course, knowing their penchant for keeping viewers on the hook, it could be up to a couple hours from now even if they know exactly when.

acbytesla 19th January 2021 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alfaniner (Post 13367051)
The CNN chyron says it will be any moment now. But of course, knowing their penchant for keeping viewers on the hook, it could be up to a couple hours from now even if they know exactly when.

I'm surprised he is issuing the pardons today and not tomorrow. When we get the list, I'm guessing the audacity of some of those being pardoned will be substantial news.

Matthew Best 19th January 2021 06:02 PM

Is Joe Exotic on the list?

acbytesla 19th January 2021 06:09 PM

I'm really curious if Trump issues any pardons for cover. Will there be any African Americans? Will there be anyone who is poor?

trustbutverify 19th January 2021 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 13367099)
I'm really curious if Trump issues any pardons for cover. Will there be any African Americans? Will there be anyone who is poor?

He seems to be planning pardons for a few rappers- all of them AA I believe.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 13359056)
Well I agree with your final line but have trouble with the first.

Why would a president be able to, with authority, assess that the guy was " prosecuted and convicted unjustly". Does the president have some omnicompetent capability?

Well a lifetime mandatory sentence for a few ounces of marijuana and a scale would be an example of a wrong a POTUS could assess as wrong, times changing and all that.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZirconBlue (Post 13359567)
We've seen Mitch's abuse of the Senates "Advise and Consent" powers over the last 12 years, so I have concerns there. If we're doing a Constitutional Amendment, anyway, I'd say we should revise that portion to state that Senate be at least required to have a floor vote on every nomination within a reasonable period of time (say 60 days).

I'm ambivalent about the highlighted. Surely some of the people pardoned are not actually guilty of the crimes they were convicted of? If so, then requiring them to admit guilt seems like kicking them when they're down.

Good examples.

I think it's a challenge to write all the "may nots" into the rules because you'll never get it exactly right.

One needs to think in broader strokes.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommok (Post 13359810)
Or anyone who has anything to do with him at all. The power is not intended (or should never be meant) to benefit a president personally in even the slightest way. Any remote appearance of that should preclude him from even considering the pardon.

You know, corruption and stuff.

A broader stroke for example would be a pardon obtained through a bribe is null and void.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 13359997)
8. No pardon can be pre-emptive. Only for crimes that have been committed and convicted in the past.

That is already the case.

Athyrio 19th January 2021 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13366942)
It's 5:30 PM in DC and no pardons yet, as far as I know. Is he waiting til the evening news is over?


Showmanship.

He's going back on TV.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trustbutverify (Post 13360066)
Yes, I agree. There should also be an appeal process to overturn any pardon with a significant appearance of self-interest. The standard must be strict.

As long as there were clear criteria on what constituted a reason, this makes sense.

As for Carter pardoning all draft dodgers, maybe the Congress should advise him to do that. But with all the partisan crap in the last decades I don't think that will work.

Instead a blanket pardon could be defined as an act allowable in limited circumstances such as in cases of wars or something.

trustbutverify 19th January 2021 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger (Post 13367125)
That is already the case.

No- Ford's pardon of Nixon included all possible crimes committed as President- including crimes he had not yet been charged with or convicted of.

trustbutverify 19th January 2021 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Athyrio (Post 13367130)
Showmanship.

He's going back on TV.

Imagine if he were still screaming on twitter.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13360448)
Reports from the White House suggest that staffers are unwilling to fill out the paperwork that would be required for Trump to pardon anybody. If those reports are true, then there will be no more pardons for anybody.

I saw nothing like that. I did see however a report advisors talked him out of pardoning himself or his family because that would make a conviction on the impeachment a sure thing. That would go with not giving a blanket pardon to the rioters.

The article suggested he wasn't certain to take that advice. But these federal pardons for his corrupt acts set him up for state investigations. And that is a real threat.

Skeptic Ginger 19th January 2021 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZirconBlue (Post 13360728)
Then how does Ford's pardon of Nixon work? Or Carter's pardon of draft dodgers?

'Preemptive' meaning pardons for things a person commits after the pardon. IOW it could make a person immune to the law.


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