July 2nd, 2007
06:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Commutation computations

,

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of former White House Lewis “Scooter” Libby marks the fourth time the president has exercised his power to reduce criminal sentences. Here’s where the president stands compared to other modern presidents, according to the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice.

George W. Bush:
Pardons: 113
Commutations: 4 (including Libby)

Bill Clinton:
Pardons: 396
Commutations: 61

George H.W. Bush:
Pardons: 74
Commutations: 3

Ronald Reagan:
Pardons: 393
Commutations: 13

Jimmy Carter:
Pardons: 534
Commutations: 29

Gerald Ford:
Pardons: 382
Commutations: 22

Richard Nixon:
Pardons: 863
Commutations: 60

Lyndon Johnson:
Pardons: 960
Commutations: 226

John F. Kennedy:
Pardons: 472
Commutations: 100

Dwight Eisenhower:
Pardons: 1,110
Commutations: 47

Harry Truman:
Pardons: 1,913
Commutations: 118

– CNN’s Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report


Filed under: President Bush • Scooter Libby
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. LAWRENCE T. SCOTT, TAKATSUKI, OSAKA, JAPAN

    OUTRAGE, OUTRAGE, OUTRAGE...!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHAT HAS THE U.S. BECOME????

    July 2, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. orlando florida

    Gee, What a surprise.

    July 2, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Brad, Carlisle PA

    The ability to pardon or commute a sentence should be a right stripped from the president's sole discrection. Clearly it has been abused in the past and it continues to this day. I would like to see the reasons behind all of the pardons and that persons relationship to the presidents.
    Our government is a sad mockery of what it was orginally intended at every level.

    July 2, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Bob Earl, Miami, Florida

    THE PERFECT EXAMPLE–IT DOESN'T MATTER–REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS–THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CAN'T TRUST EITHER ONE.
    160 YEARS (TEARS) OF REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT CRIMES ARE ENOUGH!
    Time for a rEVOLution!
    STOP BAD GOVERNMENT! NOW!!

    July 2, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Jean Galt CA

    Stop George Bush and Dick Cheney.

    Impeachment NOW!!!

    July 2, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Denny, Champaign IL

    QUID PRO QUO

    Keep Scooter out of jail so he doesn't write a tell all book and expose Cheney.

    July 2, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. Jon Botticelli Kea'au, Hi.

    While the president has the "right" to commute or pardon, he and his cronnie-packed staff surely don't care about appearances. With his approval rating dropping daily, and this sure to add to his unpopularity, it makes me believe that neither he nor the V.P. care about their constituents, the common man.

    Seems that the administration would rather add to their woes than to have Scooter tell all. What kinds of "deals" are being made daily that we never hear about?

    We, the people are sunk, with no help and no consideration from our government. What's next?

    July 2, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Daniel, Forest Hill, MD

    People seem to have forgotten all about Mr. Armitedge.

    (or however you spell it. this is the dude that actually lied...)

    July 2, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    I hear you Bob, but the problem is we only have 2 MAIN political parties to choose from. Independent candidates have never been that formidible. I hate to put it this way, but it's like choosing the 'lesser of two evils.' That would be the Democrats in my opinion.

    I remember a quote by Thomas Jefferson (not sure of the exact wording) did say at one time; "a little revolution now and then is good for a country."

    July 2, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Alan Portsmouth NH

    That trial was a set up right from the start.The judge gave libby to much jail time. So now that libby's sentence was commuted, The judge comes out smellig like a rose, Scooter comes out smelling like a rose and who cares about president Bush. He's still going to be MUD from here on in !

    July 2, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Chase

    We are in a state of danger. We are no longer respected in the international community. We have an administration that lacks pragmatism and a value for the law. It is ironic that an adminstration that campaign on the bible. Violates some of the most basic moral principles, and uses deceptful tactics to wield its way. God would be embarrased to know that George W. Bush, says he represents his way. In the end, Bush may have set his party back 20 years or more. Which is a lesson we can learn from.

    July 2, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Russell Austin, TX

    Consider this: Had the president pardoned Scooter Libby, would he be able to invoke the Fifth if he were called before congress to testify? I don't think so.

    Since he was not pardoned and his case is still under appeal, he should still be able to take the Fifth if called to testify about his activities and others in the VP's office.

    Hate to say it but that was a pretty smart move by the Prez. Make it appear like he's taking a "middle of the road" approach while actually insulating himself and Cheney from any further testimony by Libby.

    July 2, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. MaryAnne Michalik

    Juat another disgusting dedision by the decider. What about the 2 men being held in jail in texas protecting our border. It makes my stomach turn.

    July 2, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    Scooter lied and now we know that Bush lied when he said he would hold anybody in his admin who was involved responsible. Truth: President lied to the American People about a treasonous act.

    July 2, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Matt, Chicago, IL

    hey wayne – at what point of clinton's 'transgressions' did he leak the identity of a CIA agent, or purposefully sacrifice national security for political gain? There's no correlation + if you believe in the myth of liberal media dissemination, you have a short memory. Clinton getting a BJ = months of 'hysteria'. Bush's pardon? a disgraceful action that will fade in 2 weeks due to some new, appalling example of government ineptitude.
    Bush deserves all the criticism he gets for this one.

    July 2, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Karen Clark, Sacramento, CA

    I just cancelled taking my grandsons to 4th of July fireworks. There is no longer any reason to celebrate. Our country is broken–and no one does a damn thing about it. What a sad, sad day in history.

    July 2, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Ryan, New York, NY

    Wayne,
    If you had read that story that you linked, you'd be aware of a couple of key differences. First, Clinton lied in a deposition, not in front of a grand jury. At the grand jury point, Clinton came clean, whereas Libby did not.

    Second, why are people comparing a lie about a marital indiscretion with lies regarding national security. It obviously shows that some people have their priorities a little out of order.

    Lastly, why should CNN dig up articles from 6 years ago to spread the news, especially within 2-3 hours of the event. They're a news channel, not a "News Compared and Contrasted with History" channel. I thought that this little chart was even more than they needed to do to illustrate to people that this isn't new.

    Now, for those of us who live in the grey world, as opposed to the black & white one some are stuck in, if only they listed what convictions each of the pardons and commuted sentences were erased rather than just listing stats.

    July 2, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. JULIA, HOUSTON, TX

    PARDON OUR BORDER AGENTS, IMPEACH BUSH, CHENEY

    July 2, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Michael, Tacoma, WA

    Clinton pardoned 16 convicted terrorists.

    July 2, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. Barbara Hamm Dayton Ohio

    Thank You Mr. Bush for confirming every nasty rotten thing ever said about you. Impeaching you and your cronies is the only way to give this country back any honor.

    July 2, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. Dave, Vernon Hills IL

    I await the investigation and indictment of those that leaked the warrantless wiretapping, the secret CIA prisons, and the financial tracking systems. I'm sure if we jail enough reporters (now that the MSM, salivating at the chance to attack Bush, has cheerleaded us into the precedent) we can get their sources to pony up, or at least perjure themselves.

    Sandy Berger got no time and a 5x smaller fine for an actual national security crime that he was actually guilty of, so this is probably about right.

    July 2, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. West Columbia, SC

    "I won't talk, if you get me out of jail..."

    July 2, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. COLETTE, CONYERS GA

    LET'S NOT PRETEND SURPRISE. THIS IS THE SAME PRESIDENT THAT LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT A NEED TO GO TO WAR (ALMOST 4 THOUSAND AMERICAN LIVES LOST), WOULD GIVE AMENSTY TO 12 MILLION OR 20 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS (BUT WHO'S COUNTING), BACKS THE ILLEGAL FIRING OF JUDGES BY ALBERTO. WE COULD GO ON AND ON BUT WOULD IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

    July 2, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Alex, New Orleans, LA

    The President was given the pardon power because the Founders realized that sometimes police, prosecuters, and juries get it wrong. Anyone who doubts that should look at all of the men over the years that have been exonerated by DNA evidence.

    Many of the pardons granted in the Civil Rights era were for convictions based on people who exercised their rights to free speech, or were convictions based solely on race. There are still plenty of people arrested for "driving while brown" and similar non-offenses.

    Believe it or not, this is a democracy and if the President over steps common-sense then the people can vote(and encourage others to vote) and hold them and their party responsible.

    Personally, I think Scooter Libby is a traitor and think that the Bush administration cares more about power and not being questioned, than it does about national security and the rule of law. However, before everybody starts going nut case about the power of the President to pardon they should think about the full reprecussions of leaving the fate of unpopular individuals and groups to the unfettered whims of the easily inflamed masses.

    This country can survive bad Presidents. But you start messing with the Constitution on the basis of the actions of one bad president, and the country won't last for long.

    July 2, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  25. Michael Diamant, Hawaii

    Executive powers not withstanding, President Bush has now demonstrated another reason why his popularity is declining. Shame on the President, shame on Vice President Dick Cheney, shame on Scooter Libby and shame on the American people who have tolerated this President this long. President Bush, you are absolutely, no longer worthy.

    Michael Diamant, MD

    July 2, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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