During the White House press briefing this morning, spokesman Tony Snow characterized President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison term as “routine.”If it's not just "routine" for rich white men who are members of the Bush/Cheney tribe David Boaz over at Cato At Liberty has some suggestions for additional commutations that Mr Bush might consider "routine".
And Mr Boaz has a couple of other examples.
- Mandy Martinson — 15 years for helping her boyfriend count his drug-dealing money.
- DeJarion Echols — 20 years for selling a small amount of crack and owning a gun, causing Reagan-appointed federal judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. to say, “This is one of those situations where I’d like to see a congressman sitting before me.”
- Weldon Angelos — 55 years for minor marijuana and gun charges, causing the George W. Bush-appointed judge Paul Cassell, previously best known for pressing the courts to overturn the Miranda decision, to call the mandatory sentence in this case “unjust, cruel, and even irrational.”
- Anthea Harris — 15 years when members of her husband’s drug ring received sentence reductions to testify against her, although she had not been directly involved in the business.
A compassionate conservative should also use the pardon power to head off the DEA’s war against doctors who help patients alleviate pain. He could start by pardoning Dr. Ronald McIver, sentenced to 30 years for prescribing Oxycontin and other drugs to patients in severe pain. Or Dr. William Hurwitz of Virginia, sentenced to 25 years but then granted a retrial, convicted again, and awaiting sentencing, which could still be 10 years.Of course they have a problem - they are not members of the Bush crime family.