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President Bush issued 16 pardons Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush issued 16 pardons Thursday and commuted the sentence of an Iowa man convicted of drug charges.


Six of the federal offenses were drug crimes, while others included bank fraud, mail fraud, the acceptance of a kickback, a false statement on a loan application and conspiracy to defraud the government over taxes.

Seven of the 16 received no prison or jail time, instead getting probation or a reduction in their military pensions.

The longest sentence was nine years, for aiding cocaine distribution, followed by a six-year term for conspiracy to possess marijuana.

With this batch, Bush has issued 113 pardons and commuted three sentences in his nearly six years in the White House, according to spokesman Tony Fratto.

A pardon amounts to federal forgiveness for one’s crime, while a commutation cuts short an existing prison term.

On the pardons list were:

    * Charles James Allen of Winchester, Virginia, conspiracy to defraud the United States. A former federal employee, Allen was convicted in 1979 for approving payments to James Hilles Associates Inc., a Virginia firm, for office supplies that were never delivered. In return, Allen received car parts, a radio, a freezer and other gifts from the firm. He was sentenced to a year of custody to be served by 30 days in jail, 90 days in a work-release program, and the remaining period on parole.

    * William Sidney Baldwin Sr. of Green Pond, South Carolina, conspiracy to possess marijuana. Sentenced October 27, 1981, to six years’ imprisonment.

    * Timothy Evans Barfield of Cary, North Carolina, aiding and abetting false statements on a Small Business Administration loan application. Sentenced July 17, 1989, to three years’ probation, including 96 hours of community service.

    * Clyde Philip Boudreaux of Thibodaux, Louisiana, borrowing money from enlisted men, accepting a non-interest-bearing loan from a government contractor and signing and swearing to a false affidavit. Sentenced December 2, 1975, to a Navy reprimand, loss of numbers on the promotion list and a $1,000 fine.

    * Marie Georgette Ginette Briere of Gatineau, Quebec, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Sentenced July 9, 1982, to three years’ imprisonment and three years’ special parole.

    * Dale C. Critz Jr., Savannah, Georgia, making a false statement. Sentenced July 13, 1989, to three years’ probation.

    * Mark Alan Eberwine of San Antonio, Texas, conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing and obstructing the assessment of taxes by the Internal Revenue Service and making false declarations to the grand jury. Sentenced February 1, 1985, as amended April 23, 1986, to two years’ imprisonment.

    * Colin Earl Francis of Naugatuck, Connecticut, accepting a kickback. Sentenced May 7, 1993, to two years’ probation and a $2,500 fine.

    * George Thomas Harley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine. Sentenced November 30, 1984, to nine years’ imprisonment and five years’ special parole.

    * Patricia Ann Hultman, of Kane, Pennsylvania, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and other controlled substances. Sentenced October 28, 1985, to one year of imprisonment.

    * Eric William Olson of Ojai, California, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, possession, and use of hashish. Sentenced February 21, 1984, by an Army general court-martial to confinement at hard labor for one year, reduction in pay grade, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a bad conduct discharge.

    * Thomas R. Reece of Cumming, Georgia, violating the Internal Revenue Code pertaining to alcohol. Sentenced May 2, 1969, to one year of imprisonment.

    * Larry Gene Ross of Indio, California, making false statements in a bank loan application. Sentenced August 15, 1989, to four years’ probation and $7,654.20 in restitution.

    * Jearld David Swanner of Lexington, Oklahoma, making false statements in a bank loan application. Sentenced December 6, 1991, to three years’ probation.

    * James Walter Taylor of McCrory, Arkansas, bank fraud. Sentenced October 18, 1991, to 90 days in jail, followed by two years and nine months’ probation.

    * Janet Theone Upton of Salinas, California, mail fraud. Sentenced May 23, 1975, to two years’ unsupervised probation.

      Bush also commuted the sentence of Phillip Anthony Emmert of Washington, Iowa, whose case involved conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

      Emmert was sentenced December 23, 1992, to 262 months’ imprisonment (reduced on February 21, 1996) and five years’ supervised release.

      Bush directed that Emmert’s sentence expire on this coming January 20, but left the supervised release intact.

      Pardons are an end-of-the-year presidential tradition, and Bush was not expected to issue any more this year. He last issued pardons in August.

      "Requests for executive clemency receive intense individualized consideration based upon an established set of objective criteria," spokesman Fratto said.

      He said that after investigation by the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Justice Department, most weight is given to these factors:

    * the seriousness of the crime;

    * how long ago it was committed;

    * the acceptance of responsibility and showing remorse;

    * post-conviction conduct and contributions to society;

    * any specific compelling need for relief;

    * official recommendations, including from the sentencing judge, the probation officer and the federal prosecutor.

      The list did not include former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, charged in the CIA leak case with perjury and obstruction.

      Libby, whose trial is scheduled to begin in January, is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of an Iraq war critic.

      Bush remains among the stingiest of postwar presidents on pardons.

      President Clinton issued 457 in eight years in office. Bush’s father, George H. W. Bush, issued 77 in four years. President Reagan issued 406 in eight years, and President Carter issued 563 in four years.

      Since World War II, the largest number of pardon and commutations — 2,031 — came from President Truman, who served 82 days short of eight years.