In the Arena

Thoughts on Pardoning

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Robert Bauer makes an interesting–if unconvincing–case for pardoning Scooter Libby over at Huffington.

As I’ve been saying, I’m against a pardon for purely selfish reasons: If Bush doesn’t pardon him, Scooter may get pissed off enough to write a tell-all memoir or drop a dime on this awful bunch.

My differences with the lockstep left on the Libby verdict involve matters of sentencing: Instead of sending Scooter to jail, at public expense, I’d rather have him paying back the public by emptying bedpans at Walter Reed and having to stare, every day, into the eyes of those whose lives he shattered. He can do this wearing an ankle bracelet or whatever. But I want to see him–and the rest of them–pay a personal price for this war.

Update: Reader Alkali raises an interesting question:

I’m not sure favoring a purely imaginary alternative to one of the real world alternatives actually amounts to a genuine “difference” of opinion.

Let me ask the lawyers out there to respond: Can a judge order a convicted perjurer to serve a specific form of community service–i.e. emptying bedpans? And if not, why not?