We Beg His Pardon

How the president forgives us our trespasses.

President Bush recently granted a new batch of pardons. Were any Texans on the list? On December 21 the president pardoned sixteen people for crimes ranging from bootlegging to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Only one person was from Texas, a San Antonio home inspector named Mark Eberwine who had been convicted of obstructing the assessment of taxes and making false statements to a grand jury in 1985. Bush also commuted the sentence of an Iowa man who had been convicted on drug charges.

What’s the difference between a pardon and a commutation? Both are forms of executive clemency. A pardon essentially equals forgiveness for one’s crime, and it reinstates certain rights that were lost as a result of the conviction, like owning a firearm. It’s worth noting that a pardon doesn’t erase the crime; it only forgives it. A commutation, on the other hand, involves the reduction of an existing sentence. All of the charges,

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