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Pumpkin and Pecan

herb the verb's picture

Congratulations to Pumpkin and Pecan! In the insulting heart-warming tradition of "pardoning" two lucky turkeys at Thanksgiving, which mockingly light-heartedly mirrors the President's nearly unused power to stay the execution of prisoners, these two lucky turkeys are now able to live out their natural lives in captivity. Unlike the unlucky saps you see here, who ain't got a prayer.

For the record, Bush has pardoned 16 turkeys (two per year). I can find no evidence that he has granted clemency to a single death row inmate (and I have looked hard). The odds are not good: according to, there have been 244 inmates (state and federal) given clemency since 1976, only one federal prisoner among them.

That would be 64 turkeys to one human at the federal level. I'm not sure how many turkeys have been given clemency at the state level....

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Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I never understood turkey pardoning. I mean, who doesn't it offend? First, it pokes the PETA people squarely between the eyes, and then simply makes light of the pardoning power for everyone else. I don't find it cute or funny.

BTW, how many people were executed under Bush's watch in Texas?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I do. Here is another area where Obama can break with our ugly past (and ugly present), and I think actually WOULD do, but only if pressured.

I've got an idea for him, next Thanksgiving, Obama should grant clemency to two people rather than two turkeys. Better yet, he could do something like what Governor George Ryan of Illinois, or Governor Jon Corzine of Illinois did and just give a blanket commutation of sentence to all death row inmates! The quality of mercy is not strained, yes?

Maybe if Bill Clinton had done that, he wouldn't have gotten so much shit for Marc Rich!

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Here is another area where Obama can break with our ugly past (and ugly present), and I think actually WOULD do...

How do you figure? The only time capital punishment was raised during the campaign, Obama came down unusually harshly to the right. Am I missing something in his record that would explain why you think he could be pressured into commuting death sentences?

BTW, yeah, I'm a huge supporter of abolishing capital punishment. I've been lucky enough to live in a state that made the barbaric practice of capital punishment illegal in 1846; and a state that has resisted every proposal to reinstate it.