In the wake of the slaughter of four police officers in the state of Washington, and how a liberal policy on pardons and clemency played a roll in this tragedy, we decided to look into the record of Governor Sarah Palin on this issue.
Our research finds that no pardons were issued by Governor Palin. We did find that in the wake of the corrupt Murkowski administration, Governor Palin championed, and signed into law, legislation that mandates the Governor, as well as the parole board, work hand in hand on any grant of pardon, or clemency. The law also mandates that victims are notified of any pending grant of pardon, and are allowed to participate in the process.
From the website PardonPower:
Alaska: Palin and the Pardon Power
In honor of John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for the vice-presidency, PardonPower found this article from February 20, 2007:
Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today signed Senate Bill 46 and House Bill 69. The Governor was joined by Senator Donny Olson and Representative Ralph Samuels at the bill signing.
Senate Bill 46 extends the deadline for coastal communities to revise their plans for environmental oversight and development. By signing SB 46, coastal districts will have until September 1, 2007, to revise their plans. Without this extension, 12 districts that make up 70 percent of Alaska’s coastline are in jeopardy of losing their ability to have local involvement in their coastal areas.
"I thank Senator Olson for sponsoring this bill," said Governor Palin. "I know that these coastal districts have worked hard on their revised plans and by extending the deadline, we can ensure they will not lose local control."
House Bill 69 now makes it mandatory for the governor and the Board of Parole to work together to ensure any decision on clemency is based on a thorough review of the case, and made in deference to victims and their families.
"In a perfect world, this bill wouldn’t be necessary," said Governor Palin. "Unfortunately, we all know why such legislation has come through with unanimous support and why I sign this bill without hesitation."
In his final hours in office, Governor Murkowski granted an executive pardon to a company convicted of criminally negligent homicide. Whitewater Engineering Corporation pleaded no contest in 2001 to the charge in connection with the 1999 death of one of its employees. The pardon was granted on November 30, 2006. No one from the Murkowski administration notified the victim’s family of the request for clemency or that the pardon was granted.
HB 69 not only ensures that victims of crimes are notified of the governor’s intent to grant clemency but also allows them to become part of the process.
The power to grant pardons and clemency are great responsibilities a Governor and President are given by the state and United States Constitutions, respectively. It’s serious business that can easily be corrupted by either dishonesty or faulty judgment. It’s very refreshing to see that, as Governor, Sarah Palin understood and appreciated the power she was given and the great trust the people of Alaska had placed in her.
Governor Palin’s common sense approach to this great power and trust the people of Alaska placed in her, resulted in a law that will make it harder for someone of lesser character or judgment to misuse this power and trust.
It also says something that Sarah was willing to diminish her power for the good of the process. Not many in politics would do this as, for many, politics is all about the power, not the service. This is yet another example of Sarah Palin putting the needs and desires of the people above all else.