For Libby, Bush Seemed to Alter His Texas Policy





Until he commuted the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis Libby Jr. on Monday, President Bush had said almost nothing about his philosophy in granting clemency while at the White House.

As governor of Texas, though, Mr. Bush discussed and applied a consistent and narrow standard when deciding whether to issue pardons and commutations. And that standard appears to be at odds with his decision in the Libby case.

Mr. Bush explained his clemency philosophy in Texas in his 1999 memoir, “A Charge to Keep.”

“In every case,” he wrote, “I would ask: Is there any doubt about this individual’s guilt or innocence? And, have the courts had ample opportunity to review all the legal issues in this case?”

In Mr. Libby’s case, Mr. Bush expressed no doubts about his guilt. He said he respected the jury’s verdict, and he did not pardon Mr. Libby, leaving him a convicted felon. And Mr. Bush acted before the courts had completed their review of his appeal.

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