Bush pardons bootlegger and 7 others

/ Source: The Associated Press

President Bush pardoned eight people, including a man convicted of bootlegging 45 years ago, the Justice Department announced Friday.

The first round of clemency orders in Bush’s second term brings his total since taking office to 39 pardons and sentence commutations.

Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, issued 77 pardons during his single term from 1989 to 1993, according to statistics collected by the University of Pittsburgh law school.

President Clinton, by contrast, granted clemency to 456 people during his eight years in office, including 176 on his last day at the White House. One of those was the contentious pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, former husband of Democratic Party donor Denise Rich.

Most presidents since the beginning of the 20th century have granted hundreds if not thousands of pardons and sentence commutations, led by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 3,687 over four terms. Only two presidents never used their constitutional authority to grant clemency: 19th century chief executives James Garfield and William H. Harrison. Both died before serving a year in office.

Those granted pardons were:

  • Alan Dale Austin, Mabank, Texas, misapplication of mortgage funds, sentenced October 1987 to two years in prison and $22,000 in restitution.
  • Charles Russell Cooper, Corpus Christi, Texas, bootlegging, sentenced May 1959 in South Carolina to three years probation.
  • Joseph Daniel Gavin, East Elmhurst, N.Y., court-martialed by the Army in 1984 for failure to obey an order and other charges and given a bad conduct discharge.
  • Raul Marin, El Paso, Texas, failure to appear, sentenced January 1982 to six months in prison, five years probation.
  • Ernest Rudnet, Tamarac, Fla., conspiracy to file false tax returns, sentenced March 1992 to one year probation.
  • Gary L. Saltzburg, Clovis, N.M., theft of government property, sentenced January 1995 to 18 months probation, community service.
  • David Lloyd St. Croix, Kenmare, N.D., disposing of stolen explosives, sentenced June 1989 to two years probation and a $500 fine.
  • Joseph William Warner, McLaughlin, S.D., arson on an Indian reservation, sentenced November 1995 to eight months in prison, a $5,000 fine, and restitution of $5,560.