Thursday, January 15, 2009

Presidential pardons

It’s only a few days until the executive branch changes hands. When the parties exchange power, they start all sorts of gerrymandering; passing last-minute measures, all intended to keep their positions intact. Every year the president pardons one turkey or another:

Plan on Bush pardoning a bunch of turkeys on January 19th

Presidents even pardon other presidents, as when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon:

Pardon me? I guess "The King can do no wrong" . . .

On the last day of a presidents’ last term, they pardon all sorts of convicted felons. Here is a history of presidential pardons, by year:

A history of presidential pardons - 1789-2001

I’ve never fully understood why the founding fathers wanted this, and why they chose to give this power to the president.

Well, I can sort of understand it; George Washington was a world-away from George Bush.

Outgoing president Bush says that he will not pardon anyone who has not yet served out their sentence, but January 19th should be a very interesting news day.