No big names in Bush's batch of pardons

Nov. 24, 2008 at 11:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The White House announced that President George W. Bush issued 14 pardons to convicted criminals in the home stretch of his second and final term in office.

The Washington Post said late Monday that the lucky felons were unknowns whose offenses ranged from distributing marijuana and cocaine to food-stamp and pesticide violations.

Despite requests from luminaries such as former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., and junk-bond king Michael Milken, Bush's pardons were largely for minor white-collar culprits.

The Post said the highest-profile applicant to win a pardon was John Forte, a rapper who worked with the Grammy-winning Fugees. Singer-songwriter Carly Simon was among those urging Bush to pardon Forte, who had been sentenced in 2001 to 14 years on a first-offense charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. His supporters contended the judge had no leeway in the matter due to sentencing guidelines.

The Post said support for Forte's pardon also came from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

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