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Subject Blagojevich Pardons 22 People. Slick Willie Still Holds the Record.
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Original Message SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- While facing his own legal cloud, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich decided to pardon 22 other people.

The Democratic governor rarely acted on pardon applications during his six years in office. The backlog of requests at one point topped 1,600.

But Blagojevich has acted more often in recent months.

His office says he issued 22 pardons Friday, the same day Blagojevich vowed to fight the federal corruption charges he faces.

Aides wouldn't provide any information about why he granted the pardons or what crimes the people were accused of committing.

One person on the list shares the name of a man who was cleared by DNA evidence after serving three years for rape.
:clinton pa:
SLICK WILLIE'S PARDONS

Clinton's last minute pardons and commutations came in two waves. The first was the "Christmas pardons" issued on December 22, 2000. Here, he granted clemency to 59 people, who included Dan Rostenkowski (former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who had pled guilty to mail fraud); Archie Schaeffer III ("chief spokesman for the Tyson corporation in Arkansas"); and Susan McDougal (involved in Whitewater). The emphasis in this wave was on clemency for several drug, tax evasion and fraud violators whose sentences were perceived as being unduly harsh.

The second wave came on the last day of Clinton's presidency. There were 140 pardons and 36 commutations, heavily weighted toward people who had used or distributed cocaine. Several were granted without having been put through the customary procedures. Even though the presidential power to pardon is unlimited, Olson explains that "under normal circumstances, the pardon process is highly regularized to protect against corruption and improper influence." It involves the filing of a clemency petition with the Office of the Pardon Attorney, a process of screening and of possible consultation with other agencies and even with the victims, and the forwarding of a recommendation through the Office of White House Counsel. There are various Department of Justice regulations that apply unless overridden by the president, such as the rule that "a pardon will not be granted to a person who is on probation, parole, or supervised release." It is of some interest that Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Paper No. 74, said that the pardon power had been made absolute precisely so that the president would be moved to approach it with "scrupulousness and caution."
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