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President Bush Issues 16 Pardons To Minor Criminals December 22, 2006

Posted by notapundit in US News, White House.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–President George W. Bush issued 16 pardons to minor criminals on Thursday and commuted the sentence of an Iowa man serving time for a drug conviction.

Six of the federal offenses were drug crimes, while others included bank fraud, mail fraud, the acceptance of a kickback, a false statement on a loan application and conspiracy to defraud the government over taxes.

Seven of the 16 received no prison or jail time, instead getting probation or small fines. The longest sentence was nine years, for aiding cocaine distribution, followed by a six-year term for conspiracy to possess marijuana.

With this batch, Bush has issued 113 pardons and commuted three sentences in his nearly six years in the White House, according to spokesman Tony Fratto.

A pardon amounts to federal forgiveness for one’s crime, while a commutation cuts short an existing prison term.

The list didn’t include former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, charged in the CIA leak case with perjury and obstruction. Libby, whose trial is scheduled to begin in January, is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of an Iraq war critic.

Pardons are an end-of-the-year presidential tradition, and Bush wasn’t expected to issue any more this year. He last issued pardons in August.

“Requests for executive clemency receive intense individualized consideration based upon an established set of objective criteria,” spokesman Fratto said.

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