We assume Governor Walker has been too busy with his State of the State message to respond to the growing number of people asking him to reconsider his un-feeling, no-executive clemency policy. But with the annual address behind him perhaps he would be willing to either defend his extreme position or thoughtfully change it.
The case that has prompted the most recent criticism of Walker’s stand on pardons is that of a decorated Iraq war vet who was charged with a felony for his role in a fight two days after he returned from service. That charge, for a broken nose, stands in the way of this guy becoming a police officer. Every bit of evidence suggests he’d be a great cop.
There was a terrific op-ed piece in Tuesday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by former judge and chief of staff to Governor Tommy Thompson, Ed Marion. Marion correctly points out that executive clemency is part of the criminal justice system and “a compassionate society’s last chance to see that justice has been done.” We’ve always admired Marion. We’d like to think Walker could understand the wisdom of Marion’s words and the unfair and unreasonable inflexibility of his own.