Dec 20, 2013

Wrongfully Convicted: Scott Walker: No Pardons for 1,000s with "Compelling Case" of Innocence

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker explains why he has granted no
pardons to incarcerated citizens with compelling cases.
"If you pick one there's thousands of other examples out there of
people who may not have the media or other
outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who
probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't
know about," said Walker in an interview with WKOW TV (Madison).
Update II: Eric Pizer—the Wisconsin man trying to become a cop and blocked by Scott Walker—is Marine Corps Iraq combat veteran.

Update: From WKOW TV (Madison) and Democurmudgeon: Scott Walker's offers an incoherent and truly sociopathic justification behind his policy of not granting pardons:

"If you pick one there's thousands of other examples out there of people who may not have the media or other outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't yet know about," said Walker in an interview with WKOW.

Walker states there are a lot of people with compelling cases for pardons, so we should pardon none of them. This is a not a logically compelling argument.

Wrongfully convicted? What matters is whether the media or other outlets are behind them, suggests Walker, a bizarre position.

What about innocent Green Bay ex-cop, John Maloney; the innocent Penny Brummer of Madison who police went after because she was an out lesbian, and the innocent Don Miller of Hurley just released on parole? 

And there are surely many more innocents incarcerated.

The great English jurist, William Blackstone, wrote that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1769), the source of Common Law in the United States courts, and often cited in opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States.

Walker went public with his disinclination to pardon in the Spring 2012, although he has broad power vested in Article V, section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution, after being challenged not to pardon his aides and appointees convicted in WalkerGate. 

In Feb, 12, 2012, this mal contends site challenged Walker not to pardon his personally appointed, long time aide, Tim Russell.

"Gov. Scott Walker says he won't pardon anyone charged in the ongoing John Doe investigation of former aides who worked for him as Milwaukee County executive," Walker later said in a Wisconsin Public Radio report in May 30, 2012.

Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel reported Barrett's call a week before the Recall Election in June 2012:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stepped up his criticism of Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday by questioning whether [Walker] would pardon any of his aides charged in a John Doe investigation.

“I want to be certain that we’re not going to have this election and he’s going to turn around and pardon all these aides of his who have been charged,” he said after a campaign stop at a Baraboo coffee shop. “I just want him to say that he’s never going to pardon any of these people. These are close associates of his.” (MJS. May 29, 2012)
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie actually thinks the power of clemency and commutation belongs to the Judiciary branch. Gov. Walker "believes these decisions are best left up to the courts," Blogging Blue writes, notwithstanding Article V, section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution which reads:
SECTION 6. [Pardoning power.] The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason he shall have the power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislalure at its next meeting, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same.
When Walker implies 1,000s of people do not rightfully belong in prison, and Walker justifies this state of affairs by saying not all advocacy groups and media support are, equal this seems capricious and bloodless.

And Walker's chief spokesperson doesn't even know to what branch of government the power of commutations and pardons belongs.

Does Scott Walker hear himself when he suggests there are 1,000s of innocents in Wisconsin prisons and jails, but as they all do not have the same advocates and media attention so they should all stay in prison?

From Tony Galli at WKOW:

No comments:

Post a Comment