Published: Fri, October 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Arpaio Is Still Guilty: Despite Pardon, Judge Declines to Vacate Verdict

Arpaio Is Still Guilty: Despite Pardon, Judge Declines to Vacate Verdict

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Arizona sheriff, is set to stump for a GOP congressional candidate at President Trump's Los Angeles golf club on Thursday.

"However, citing the 1990 ruling from the Third Circuit in United States v. Noonan, Bolton wrote: "'The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping'".

On Thursday, a US district court judge in Arizona ruled Trump's pardon didn't change the fact that a court found Arpaio guilty, and because of that, she said Arpaio will keep that record.

Joe Arpaio remains a marked man. Defendant accepted. The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed.

The judge noted in her ruling that a pardon "does not blot out guilt or expunge a judgment of conviction", and actually implies that Arpaio is in fact guilty.

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" 'What if an illegal alien who claims they were wrongfully detained were to sue civilly, then the fact that he was convicted of willfully defying the court order could be used against him, ' said Wilenchik".

"Indeed, a pardon 'carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it", Bolton wrote, quoting Black's Law Dictionary. But the history of Arpaio's case-the 2011 court order ordering him to cease his programmatic violation of constitutional rights, and the subsequent finding by Judge Bolton that he'd continued to do so and thus was guilty of criminal contempt-is simply recounted by Judge Bolton but does not serve as the basis for her decision.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007, accused Arpaio and his deputies of racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops and neighborhood sweeps. Arpaio was the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, for 24 years before losing a re-election bid in 2016.

The case has cost county taxpayers more than $70 million.

Wilenchik argues that because of the presidential pardon, Arpaio's criminal case is pointless and the conviction should be dismissed, similar to what happens if someone is convicted but dies before they are sentenced or can appeal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, said he was not sure whether Trump had the power to pardon himself, should the matter arise.

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