January 03, 2009
A pardon for Clemens?

Seems unlikely to me, too.

Two Houstonians -- former Enron executive Jeff Skilling and former Astros pitcher Roger Clemens -- are on a watch list kept by P.S. Ruckman Jr., a political science professor in Illinois who writes a blog on pardons and has written a book on the subject.

Skilling's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said no request is being made on behalf of Skilling, who is in prison and appealing his conviction. No other Enron defendants were on Justice Department request lists as of Wednesday.

But Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, notes that a clemency request would make no sense, since Clemens is not charged with any crime, although the FBI is investigating whether he lied to Congress about steroid use.

There have been only very rare pre-emptive pardons, like President Gerald Ford's pardon of President Richard Nixon.

"That's an insane invention of people who have too much time on their hands," Hardin said of the question of a pardon for Clemens.

The blog post in question is here. It also mentions former baseball player Willie Aikens and quarterback Michael Vick; like Clemens and Skilling, none of them have an application in. Much ado about nothing, if you ask me, but it's a slow news period, so what the heck.

Speaking of Clemens, Richard Justice writes about the recent decision by Memorial Hermann to remove his name from the sports medicine institute he helped fund. He's critical of Memorial Hermann, but I found these paragraphs the most interesting:

This column isn't a defense of his behavior. He chose a path that might land him in prison and probably will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.


Few reporters ever get to know the people they cover. We don't usually know if they drink too much or chase women or pull the wings off butterflies when they disappear into the night.

That's the problem with confusing accomplishments on the field into judgments on character, integrity, etc.

So since Justice apparently does understand the distinction between the two, does that mean he'll vote accordingly when Clemens is up for induction? Check back in four years and find out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 03, 2009 to Baseball
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