Monday, July 2, 2007

Scooter 'Scapes

What is it with this pardon thing in the US political system? The president has the (almost) unilateral power to pardon any individual found guilty of a federal crime, or to commute any sentence duly handed down by the federal courts. Regardless, republican or democrat, incumbent presidents freely use this power not in the interests of justice, as I would suppose was intended when the constitution was drafted, but rather in the name of political favour, to let off their personal cronies after ambition, zeal or avarice has got the better of them.

Now let's be clear, pardon provisions do exist elsewhere in other governmental systems, the UK not being the least of them, but the freedom afforded the president to, at a stroke, wipe away what the judicial system was so carefully constructed to deliver, still leaves me completely dumb-struck.

It's time this power was either removed, or at least severely curtailed. In the UK, it can only be applied in the case of a demonstrably proven miscarriage of justice; no more, no less. And even then, only after lengthy deliberation and due process has been gone through will it finally be down to the Home Secretary to recommend to the Queen that the punishment meted out should be commuted or the conviction set-aside. So no, neither Gordon nor HRM can pop into the office one afternoon and have thrown out what ever decision or punishment was lawfully reached and applied to one of their subjects errant, and never should they.

Since both the donkeys and the elephants cry "foul" any time this privilege is exercised, why on earth don't they get together and get the thing fixed instead or resorting to completely misplaced self-righteous indignation?


I said...

You have got to love old george!

If i exceed the speed limit in CA will i get pardoned?

J said...

Pardoned?? Dude, you're fresh from that nation of terrorist doctors. 5 mph over and you'll be pulling a stretch in Pelican Bay where your best friend's name will be "Bubba" and you will get to be best buddies every day in the shower blobk!