President George W. Bush let his term expire without granting clemency to junk bond icon Michael Milken and former politicians Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Edwin Edwards, according to a report in the LA Times.
Cunningham, the former Republican congressman from California pleaded guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. In 2006, he was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison.
Edwards, the former four-term governor of Louisiana was sentenced to 10 years in prison on racketeering charges in 2001.
Also on the high visibility list of those denied pardons or commutations in the administration’s eleventh hour was John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban,” presently serving 20 years in prison.
Another passed over petitioner was Leonard Peltier, who had been sentenced to two consecutive life terms in the slayings of two FBI agents during a 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Bush passed over some other well-known figures as well – bad news since after denial, a petitioner must wait two years to reapply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence.
The other high-profilers included: former Illinois Gov. George Ryan; I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, onetime chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney; Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel; media mogul Conrad Black; and telecommunications executives Bernard Ebbers and John Rigas, according to the Times report.
There were 1,729 pardon applications and 7,498 requests for commuted prison sentences that Bush denied during his presidency.
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