Bush Pardons 14 Individuals

By: Deb Riechmann AP
By: Deb Riechmann AP

WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush has granted pardons
to 14 individuals and commuted the prison sentences of two others convicted of misdeeds ranging from drug offenses to tax evasion, from wildlife violations to bank embezzlement, The Associated Press
learned Monday.

The new round of White House pardons are Bush's first since March and come less than two months before he will end his presidency. The crimes committed by those on the list also include offenses involving hazardous waste, food stamps, and the theft of government property.

Bush has been stingy during his time in office about handing out such reprieves.

Including these actions, he has granted a total of 171 and eight commutations. That's less than half as many as Presidents Clinton or Reagan issued during their time in office. Both were two-term presidents.

On the latest pardon list were:


  • Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo. She was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
  • Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.
  • Richard Micheal Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill., who was convicted
    of making false statements to the federal government.
  • Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer of Fort Worth, Texas, for reporting or helping cover up a crime.
  • Andrew Foster Harley of Falls Church, Va. Harley was convicted of wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine.
  • Obie Gene Helton of Rossville, Ga., whose offense was unauthorized acquisition of food stamps.
  • Carey C. Hice Sr. of Travelers Rest, S.C., who was convicted of
    income tax evasion.
  • Geneva Yvonne Hogg of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted of bank embezzlement.
  • William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced
    for making false entries, books, reports or statements to a bank.
  • Paul Julian McCurdy of Sulphur, Okla., who was sentenced for misapplication of bank funds.
  • Robert Earl Mohon Jr. of Grant, Ala., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
  • Ronald Alan Mohrhoff of Los Angeles, who was convicted for unlawful use of a telephone in a narcotics felony.
  • Daniel Figh Pue III of Conroe, Texas, convicted of illegal treatment, storage and disposal of a hazardous waste without a permit.
  • Orion Lynn Vick of White Hall, Ark., who was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government property.

Bush also commuted the prison sentences of John Edward Forte of North Brunswick, N.J., and James Russell Harris of Detroit, Mich. Both were convicted of cocaine offenses.

Under the Constitution, the president's power to issue pardons is absolute and cannot be overruled.

Some high-profile individuals, such as Michael Milken, are seeking a pardon on securities fraud charges. Two politicians convicted of public corruption - former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., and four-term Democratic Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards - are asking Bush to shorten their prison terms.

One hot topic of discussion related to pardons is whether Bush might decide to issue pre-emptive pardons before he leaves office to government employees who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Some constitutional scholars and human rights groups
want the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to
investigate possible war crimes.

If Bush were to pardon anyone involved, it would provide protection against criminal charges, particularly for people who were following orders or trying to protect the nation with their actions. But it would also be highly controversial.

At the same time, Obama advisers say there is little - if any - chance that his administration would bring criminal charges.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
KOLO-TV 4850 Ampere Drive Reno, NV 89502
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 35015034 - kolotv.com/a?a=35015034