One of our faculty members had something to share and gave me permission to post this, which is slightly off topic, but I had to post it. It's just sort of breath-taking:
>From: Timothy W. Floyd [FLOYD_TW@Mercer.edu]
>Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 9:46 PM
>To: 'Law Faculty'
>Subject: President Bush and commutation
>In March 2003, for the first and only time in my life, I went to the West
>Wing of the White House. At that time, I was representing a man who was
>scheduled to be executed by the federal government in less than three weeks.
>I had filed a request for commutation, asking the President to commute the
>death sentence to a sentence of life without the possibility of release.
>Department of Justice rules require that such a request be filed with the
>Office of the Pardon Attorney in DOJ. Although I had filed the request in
>December, we had not yet received any response.
>While the commutation request was pending, I asked then White House Counsel
>Alberto Gonzales if he would meet with me to discuss the case. (I knew that
>the White House Counsel was ultimately responsible for making a
>recommendation to the President on my request.) To my great surprise, he
>agreed and invited me to a meeting in his office. We met for over an hour.
>I was allowed to present my argument in some detail, and I answered many
>questions from Judge Gonzales. I was quite impressed that Judge Gonzales
>had obviously read my written submissions and had already given the case
>Judge Gonzales told me three things about President Bush's policy in
>considering requests for commutation. First, that President Bush would not
>consider commutation if he believed that the case had already received full
>and fair consideration by the jury and the courts who heard the case.
>Second, that the President would not consider the request until he had a
>recommendation from the Department of Justice. Finally, he said that the
>President would not act on any request for commutation until all judicial
>avenues in the case had been exhausted.
>Just thought you might be interested in what this White House claimed about
>the commutation process.
Timothy W. Floyd
Professor of Law and Director, Law and Public Service Program
Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law
1021 Georgia Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31207-0001