Judge Refuses to Clear Arpaio's Name Despite Pardon

Trump's pardon doesn't 'revise the historical facts,' judge says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2017 8:00 PM CDT
Judge Won't Throw Out Ruling Explaining Arpaio's Conviction
In this July 6, 2017 photo, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio leaves the federal courthouse in Phoenix, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Angie Wang, File)

The judge in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case has refused the his request to throw out all rulings in the case, including a blistering decision that explained her reasoning in finding him guilty of a crime, the AP reports. The request denied Thursday by US District Judge Susan Bolton was aimed at clearing Arpaio's name and barring the ruling's use in future court cases as an example of a prior bad act. Bolton said pardons don't erase convictions or the facts of cases. She said the pardon issued by President Trump only mooted Arpaio's possible punishments. "The pardon undoubtedly spared defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed," Bolton wrote. "It did not, however, 'revise the historical facts' of this case."

Arpaio's attorneys appealed Thursday's decision to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The conviction stemmed from Arpaio's disobedience of a 2011 court order that barred his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Prosecutors had accused Arpaio of prolonging the patrols for 17 months so that he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in a bid to boost his successful 2012 re-election campaign. Arpaio, who endorsed Trump and appeared alongside him at rallies during the 2016 campaign, has acknowledged prolonging the patrols, but insisted his disobedience wasn't intentional and blamed one of his former attorneys for not adequately explaining the order's importance. Critics say the Aug. 25 pardon removed the last chance at holding Arpaio legally accountable for a long history of misconduct.

(More Joe Arpaio stories.)

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