Letter: Lowering the bar for pardons

Saturday, June 09, 2018

President Donald Trump has pardoned six people while in office. Pardons for Joe Arpaio, Dinesh D’Souza and Scooter Libby are troubling from several points of view.

First of all there are federal guidelines for pardoning. The person should express remorse and live an exemplary life since conviction. President Trump appears to have not followed those guidelines and given pardons to some individuals because he liked them. Libby’s lawyer is quoted as saying “he (Trump) got a thrill from giving Scooter a pardon.” Secondly, he is sending a message to those around him that he will pardon them in the future for any crimes they may have committed.

Those people convicted have had their day in court. They have answered to their accusers, as is their right, and were convicted. I am sure the government spent a lot of time and money gathering evidence, preparing its case and prosecuting the case in court. What kind of message does pardoning people send to our justice system and the individuals who worked so hard to convict? What does this say to the victims of the crimes committed and what does this say to the people of America who trust the judicial system to bring justice for us all?

The president’s claim that he can pardon himself has to be the apex of self aggrandizement. I am sure that the creators of our government thought the president should not be above the law. I certainly believe that.