July 2nd, 2007
06:45 PM ET
12 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. Robert Edwards, Hampton Bays, NY

    Wake up boys and girls. We all knew President Bush would pardon, or commute his sentance.

    He is beyond being a lame duck President.

    Was anyone really surprised, if you were, what planet have you been living on?

    July 3, 2007 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  2. Fred Dunn, San Antonio, TX

    Just another example of Empirer "Dick" Cheney's lapdog choosing not to comply with the law because they "are above it".
    This is not a democratic government it is more of an empirical government of "do as I say not as I do".
    Don't blame 'W' for this as he doesn't have the intelligence to think this up, rather blame his partner in crime "Dick".

    July 3, 2007 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  3. Stephen, Birmingham, Alabama

    I am personally glad to see the president use this power the right way this time. This was truly a case that should have never been brought to the courts in the first place. It amazing the number of people who are not educated about the facts of the case. All presidents, democract or republican, have used this power when they felt it was needed. I support this case and in fact was angry that Bush allowed it to go on this long. I still believe a full pardon should have done but Bush doesn't have the guts for that.

    July 3, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  4. Tim Combs, Cincinnati Ohio

    It's ironic that the ONLY person convicted in a case where a CIA agent was outed had nothing to do with it. The prosecution was on a witch hunt. The president was correct in commuting the sentence.

    July 3, 2007 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  5. John, Kittanning Pa

    It's outrageous that this president is allowed to get away with yet another mocking of our system of laws. I guess there is nothing we as common citizens can do but wait till the next president is elected. I hope we learned from this coward not to make the same mistake.

    July 3, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  6. Joy Hiers Geneva, OH

    When are the American people (all of them) going to realize that both political parties are flawed. It doesn't matter if they are Democrats or Republicans – they all smell the same – just like rotten food.

    We to have a way to start over in this country while there are still people who believe in the REAL American Way.

    July 3, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  7. Judy, Pickaway,WV.

    My question is, if Scooter is just a fall guy, then who is
    the one who gave away Ms. Plame's cover. If government can't produce the one responsible, how can
    I believe that there is anything but a cover up. President
    Bush should be called "King George" . Why isn't
    Dick Cheney or "doughboy" Karl Rove being put on the
    hot seat? I can't wait for this administration to be gone.

    July 3, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Look at the numbers, Bush is conservative in his pardons and sentence commuting. I'm sure no one will make a big deal out of how many pardons Clinton dealt out.

    Libby was handed an unusual sentence for the crimes he committed. He still pays a $250,000 fine, and the felony stays on his record. His reputation is shattered and he will never work "this side" of town again. He is not off the hook.

    Libby has paid dearly for his misdeeds already. And it is not justice if the same kind of crimes historically have much lesser punishments given.

    July 3, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  9. Robert Williams. Southern Pines, North Carolina

    How much longer will the citizens of this country stand by and watch as our freedoms are squandered. Bysh, Chenet and EVERYONE who supports them should be held to the test. Fred Thompson and Rudi just threw away their political futures. The amount of housecleaning, the amount of reconcilliation necessary can only be handled by Obama or Hillary. Line from a movie states "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." Althought I am 100% disabled, I just gave my pledge for a monthly pledge to support Hillary. Elect her and we get Bill also. Two for the price of one. I make it a daily routine to write at least two political comment letters per day and send them to Washington. I am old enough, I don't woory for myself. I am freightened to the core about what lies ahead for my children and their children. We are headed in the same direction as pre-war Germany. To simply sit back and expect others to fix our problems is so wrong. Call or write your representatives at least twice a day. Eventually even the deaf and blind in Washington will understand and begin planning the space to incarcerate GWB and his bunch of cronies who lie at the first chance given them.

    July 3, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Rose, Corpus Christi, Texas

    Uh, please remember that it was ARMITAGE who leaked the information. Not Libby. Not that it excuses Libby's obstruction of justice, it doesn't. But for those who have posted here to say that Libby was the leaker, you are just plain WRONG.
    Also, Sandy Berger committed much more serious crimes (stealing and destroying national archive records????) and got a slap on the wrist.
    Bush was right to commute the sentence (he DID NOT pardon him).

    July 3, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Brian Ortiz, Fayetteville, NC

    It's called checks and balances morons.

    July 3, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Ryan, New York, NY

    I'm amazed at the number of people who are misled by the low numbers for the Bush administration. Realize that he's got 16 more months and that the majority of pardons for every administration occur near the end of their last term since there isn't as much chance for backlash.

    July 3, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Amy - TN


    "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. Posted By Karen Clark, Sacramento, CA : July 2, 2007 8:24 pm”

    If we all thought like you, there would be no reason to celebrate our FREEDOM because we WOULDN’T HAVE ANY. But fortunately we all don’t think like you. And I for one WILL NEVER let the actions of ONE MAN make me forget the sacrifices, bravery and courage of the many men and women who made it possible to say I’m a FREE AMERICAN. That is the most pathetic post I've ever seen on any blog board – SHAME ON YOU! You are a horrible example for your grandchildren.

    July 3, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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