Presidential Pardons Essay, Research Paper
In recent weeks, there have been controversies concerning presidential pardons. These controversies are causing people to think that the President has too much authority by being able to grant a pardon or clemency to a person. One of the most controversial is the pardon of Marc Rich and Pincus Green by former President Bill Clinton.
Marc Rich and Pincus Green are financiers who were indicted in 1983 for not paying fifty million dollars in taxes for an oil-trading scheme. The two fled the United States for Switzerland where they have been ever since. Mr. Rich and Mr. Green have never stepped foot into a courtroom to argue against the Government of their wrong doings.
According to Federal Law, the only way an individual can receive a presidential pardon is if they were convicted of a felony offense in a Federal Court or by Military Court Martial. A presidential pardon removes all convictions that were petitioned for by the individual requesting the pardon. Neither Mr. Rich or Mr. Green has had their day in Federal Court to answer the Federal Governments indictment, thus causing most of the controversy of their pardons.
It is very apparent that Presidents can be influenced by wealthy and famous people. Even rivals, party members, and heads of foreign countries can influence Presidents to pardon certain people of their interests. Former President Jimmy Carter asked for the pardon of Patty Hearst Shaw and President Gerald Ford asked for the pardon of Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, both pardons were granted. President Clinton s last minute pardons seemed as if he was playing the game of you scratch my back and I ll scratch yours .
It is very sad that the American people only hear of the controversial pardons given by Presidents. There have been Presidential Pardons given to people that truly deserved to be pardoned. One such pardon is the Presidential Turkey that is pardoned every Thanksgiving. Question is, what was the Turkeys felony crime and did he have is day in Federal court.
I am a strong believer in the rules. If all the steps are taken to ask for a pardon and the circumstances for the pardon are genuine, then the pardon should be granted. I do believe that some type of reform to the Presidential Pardon should be introduced in Congress. I do not think that the Presidential Pardon should be taken away from the sitting President. I do believe that there should be a limit set on how many pardons are given per year and a tougher guideline that the President should follow. I also think that if a President is considering a pardon then he or she should inform the nation as to who will be receiving the pardon and why he or she is granting the pardon. If these are added to the Presidential Pardon then all the controversy should be stopped and the Presidential Pardon will be used for what it is truly meant for, giving deserving people back their Civil Liberties.