President George Bush has pardoned 14 people as well as commuted sentences of two more within the two months before the end of his term, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).
Wired PR News.com – Bush was last reported to have granted pardons in March of this year. The crimes of the 16 individuals ranged from drug distribution to aiding and abetting a theft.
The Constitution provides the president with absolute power to grant a pardon. President Bush has throughout his term issued a reported 171 pardons and 8 sentence commutations. Compared to those granted during the Clinton administration, the number is relatively low. Clinton served a total of two terms as did Bush.
As noted in the AP report, some hope that the incoming presidential administration will investigate war crimes committed in connection with interrogations of terrorist suspects after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush’s issuance of pre-emptive pardons for connected governmental employees would provide protection from any possible charges, however advisers of the President Elect have stated that criminal charges brought forth for these matters would be unlikely.