• Why Trump and Mueller aren't Clinton and Starr

    by Julian Zelizer

    This comparison misses something pretty fundamental. Starr was working under the independent counsel law that Congress passed in 1978. So Clinton couldn't fire him.

  • Work ahead for Scottsboro Boys pardons

    Though the Alabama Legislature has cleared the way for posthumous pardons of the Scottsboro Boys, much work — from legal documents to public hearings — remains before the names of the nine black teens wrongly convicted more than 80 years ago are officially cleared.The Scottsboro Boys were convicted by all-white juries of raping two white women on a train in Alabama in 1931. All but the youngest were sentenced to death, even though one of the women recanted her story. All eventually got out of prison. Only one received a pardon before he died.The case became a symbol of the tragedies wrought by racial injustice. It inspired songs, books and films. A Broadway musical was staged in 2010, the same year Washington opened a museum dedicated to the case. The Scottsboro Boys' appeals resulted in U.S. Supreme Court decisions that criminal defendants are entitled to effective counsel and that blacks can't be systematically excluded from criminal juries....

  • Historian David Reynolds says Obama should pardon John Brown

    [David S. Reynolds, a professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, is the author of “John Brown, Abolitionist” and “Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson.”] IT’S important for Americans to recognize our national heroes, even those who have been despised by history. Take John Brown. Today is the 150th anniversary of Brown’s hanging — the grim punishment for his raid weeks earlier on Harpers Ferry, Va. With a small band of abolitionists, Brown had seized the federal arsen

  • President Bush's Pardons

    by Gene Gerard

    HNN EditorThis article was first published in January 2005. On July 2, 2007 President Bush commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby.Traditionally, over the holiday season each year, the president approves of various actions of clemency. George W. Bush recently approved of pardons to four individuals convicted of embezzlement, misapplication of bank funds, possession of counterfeit obligations, and theft. Over the course of his first term, Bush has issued a mere 31 pardons and sen