Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Oh Mercy Mercy Me

St George, the Merciful and Compassionate:

Even as he publicly declined to comment on the case, Mr. Bush had privately told his aides that he believed Mr. Libby’s sentence, to 30 months in prison, was too harsh.

“I think he sincerely believed that Scooter was not shown proper justice,” said Charlie Black, a Republican strategist close to the administration. “We can get into the whole definition of justice versus mercy, but the point is the president didn’t say justice wasn’t done, he just didn’t think the sentence was fair and therefore he showed mercy.”

Not so much:
On the morning of May 6, 1997, Governor George W. Bush signed his name to a confidential three-page memorandum from his legal counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, and placed a bold black check mark next to a single word: DENY. It was the twenty-ninth time a death-row inmate's plea for clemency had been denied in the twenty-eight months since Bush had been sworn in. In this case Bush's signature led, shortly after 6:00 P.M. on the very same day, to the execution of Terry Washington, a mentally retarded thirty-three-year-old man with the communication skills of a seven-year-old.

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