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The Champion

August 2007 , Page 4 

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One Commutation, Thousands More to Go

By Carmen D. Hernandez

Read more President's Column columns.

Recently, the president of the United States commuted the sentence of White House assistant I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, stating that the three-year sentence imposed by the federal judge was “excessively harsh” for “a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service.” While many were critical of that decision, my response was: Yes, Mr. President, putting a man behind bars for three years is harsh punishment. Will you now please commute the sentences of the tens of thousands of other men and women who are rotting in jail, serving equally and much more “excessively harsh” sentences? Indeed, I guarantee that every criminal defense lawyer in America could send the president a list of three people in prison today whose sentences are excessively harsh for the crime of which they were convicted, and who are at least as deserving of the exercise of the president’s constitutional prerogative to commute and pardon.

On the heels of the Libby commutation, duri

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