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January 27th, 2009
02:54 PM ET

Bush rejected pardons for Duke Cunningham, Edwin Edwards and Michael Milken

Former President George W. Bush helicopters for the last time to Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday.

Former President George W. Bush helicopters for the last time to Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday.

Josh Meyer
The L.A. Times

President George W. Bush, on his last full day in office, formally struck down the petitions for clemency of some high-profile politicians and businessmen, including former lawmakers Randall "Duke" Cunningham, Edwin Edwards and Mario Biaggi and "junk bond" financier Michael Milken, the Justice Department said today.

The chief of the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney, Ronald Rodgers, confirmed the pardon rejections through a spokeswoman, in response to queries from The Times' Washington Bureau.

The Justice Department said Bush also denied petitions for clemency for two men who became highly polarizing symbols of their eras. One of them was John Walker Lindh, the young American serving 20 years in prison for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan at a time when it was fighting U.S. military forces just after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    As Governor of Texas Bush was not known to be generous with pardons or commutations or even delaying dates of execution for someone who still had an appeal in process. At least he stayed consistent with this on the national level. Bush may have done them a favor by not granting one too – as much as Bush was disapproved of at the last a pardon from him might have done more damage to a person's career and life – getting one from Obama seems less tainted.

    January 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm |