To avoid repeating a scandal like his predecessor’s, George W. Bush gave career lawyers in the Justice Department far-reaching authority to choose who got presidential pardons. The result: Whites are nearly four times as likely as minorities to win a pardon, even when the type of crime and severity of sentence are taken into account.
Despite worldwide protests and letters from the likes of President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 51 members of Congress, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles ruled Tuesday morning that Troy Davis should die by lethal injection Wednesday.
George Bush may have come to power claiming to be a “compassionate conservative,” but his miserly use of the president’s abililty to pardon makes him one of American history’s most indifferent leaders.
On Dec. 2 Kenneth Boyd was executed by the state of North Carolina, becoming the 1,000th person to be executed since the 1976 Supreme Court ruling Gregg v. Georgia reinstated capital punishment in the United States.