Sen. Murkowski Asked Bush for Stevens Pardon
Friends say former senator would rather clear name through courts anyway
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 1:14 PM CST
Ted Stevens stands next to fellow Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski as they watch election results at Stevens campaign headquarters in Anchorage.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sen. Lisa Murkowski asked President Bush to pardon former Alaska Republican colleague Ted Stevens, the Anchorage Daily News reports. But Stevens would rather fight his corruption conviction in court, friends say, because he felt a pardon would taint his legacy. Murkowski wrote that she did not want to see Stevens, 85, spend the rest of his life involved in litigation.

“Senator Stevens has indicated that he does not intend to seek a pardon,” Murkowski wrote in the letter, released after Barack Obama took office yesterday. “I am pursuing this request, on my own initiative, in the interest of justice and out of compassion for a man who has served our Nation and the State of Alaska with great distinction for all of his adult life.”