Bush Pardons 14 But Ducks Big Reprieves

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2008 6:49 PM CST
President George W. Bush, wearing a traditional Peruvian poncho, waves in Lima, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
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(Newser) – President Bush granted 14 pardons and two reduced sentences today but helped none of the high-profile figures seeking reprieves, the AP reports. In his first pardons since March, Bush forgave criminals convicted on charges of wildlife violations, tax evasion, and drugs. His two commutations were for men found guilty of cocaine offenses.

Bush has now granted 171 pardons and eight commutations, fewer than 50% of what Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each granted in their two-term presidencies. High-profile figures like Michael Milken, ex-lawmaker Randy Cunningham, and former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards are still seeking pardons. Pundits are debating whether Bush will pre-emptively pardon government workers linked to harsh, post-Sept. 11 interrogations.