View Full Version : 29 Convicts, None Named Libby, Receive Bush Pardons

12-12-2007, 09:49 AM
29 Convicts, None Named Libby, Receive Bush Pardons


Published: December 12, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush granted pardons on Tuesday to carjackers, drug dealers, a moonshiner and an election-laws violator but not to I. Lewis Libby Jr., who was once the top aide to his vice president.

In all, Mr. Bush pardoned 29 convicts and reduced the prison sentence of one more in an end-of-the-year presidential tradition.

Erik Ablin, a Justice Department spokesman, said Mr. Bush had granted 142 pardons and commuted 5 sentences since taking office in 2001 — far fewer than most modern presidents. That includes Mr. Bush’s decision in July to commute the sentence of Mr. Libby, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the leak of the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative.

The pardon list included William Charles Jordan Jr., a 64-year-old retiree from Dover, Pa., who was pardoned for his role in a college and professional football gambling ring that federal authorities shut down on Super Bowl Sunday in 1997.

Mr. Jordan said he did not want his eight grandchildren to know he was a felon, so he obtained the necessary paperwork through his congressman. He learned Tuesday that the pardon had come through.

“It’s a nice Christmas present,” Mr. Jordan said. “I didn’t know what the odds were on getting one. I just sent the stuff in and hoped.”

Many of those who were pardoned never spent any time in prison. This group included Jeffrey J. Bruce, of Chandler, Okla., who was convicted in 1994 of possessing stolen mail, and William J. Norman of Tallahassee, Fla., convicted in 1970 for possessing and running an unregistered distillery.

The list of those pardoned also included Melton Harrell, of Cairo, Ga., sentenced in 1976 to two years’ probation and a $200 fine for stealing government property; Saul Kaplan of Scranton, Pa., convicted in 1992 of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act and fined $25,000; and John F. McDermott, of Moretown, Vt., sentenced in 1995 for receiving kickbacks in military procurement contracts. He served two years probation and paid a $10,000 fine.