Who is Joe Arpaio?
During his tenure as Maricopa County Sheriff, he was called “the toughest sheriff” in the U.S. He was an outspoken and ruthless opponent of undocumented immigration, using the MCSO and his power to enforce immigration law at the expense of public safety.
He also had a marked disdain for the rights of inmates housed in Maricopa County jails. His agency was accused of neglect in several prison deaths.
He was accused and convicted of racial profiling against Latinos during the lawsuit Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al.
Arpaio openly disobeyed court orders to stop racial profiling and immigration enforcement. He was later accused of criminal contempt. He was declared guilty on July 31, 2017, following a bench trial by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton. He was scheduled to be sentenced in October 2017.
He was voted out of office on November 8, 2016.
What is the latest information about the possible pardon by President Trump?
Arpaio was convicted after federal prosecutors proved his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office racially profiled and illegally detained Latinos, violating their constitutional rights. He is due to be sentenced in October and faces up to six months in jail. It’s possible Trump could wait till after the sentencing to pardon Arpaio, though many legal experts doubt the 85-year-old ex-sheriff will be sentenced to jail time.
Following Trump’s statement, Fox News contacted Arpaio, who responded, “I am happy he understands the case. I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.” However, Arpaio – a longtime outspoken supporter and friend of Trump – seems to be more concerned about the President’s reputation than Trump himself is: “I would never ask him for a pardon, especially if it causes heat,” Arpaio said. “I don’t want to do anything that would hurt the President.”
What is the landmark case that declared Arpaio a racial profiler?
The lawsuit Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al. was a class action lawsuit filed in 2007. Following a three-week trial, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) was found to have engaged in racial profiling and unlawful traffic stops of Latinos.
As a result of the trial, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was ordered by the court to stop immigration enforcement, immigration raids, and traffic stops. U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued this decision, finding that Arpaio and his agency had relied on racial profiling and illegal detentions to target Latinos.
What are the implications for non-citizens of Trump’s visit to Arizona and possible pardon of Arpaio?
Local attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta recently posted a warning to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen. He indicated that people who are not citizens should “stay away from any contact with law enforcement which can lead to an arrest during protests against Arpaio and Trump.” He stated that “my recent experience is that even if you have DACA or other temporary protection (TPS, etc.) if you get detained and taken to 4th Ave. Jail, it is very likely you will be processed through ICE.”
Trump Pardoned Arpaio. Can the Pardon be Undone?
After weeks of teasing the media about possibly pardoning Joe Arpaio, Trump pardoned the criminally convicted, racist and disgraced ex-sheriff, causing an uproar in the community.
Is there any possibility of reversing the pardon?
According to the Department of Justice, longstanding regulations call for waiting at least five years after conviction before filing a pardon application. Arpaio was convicted less than four weeks ago. A Presidential pardon at this point is “intervening in the middle of a legal proceeding yet to run its course… [and has] every appearance of being direct interference in the administration of justice,” wrote Bob Bauer, a professor at New York University School of Law, in the Chicago Tribune.
Arpaio’s Tweets Remind Us of His Abuse
The Phoenix New Times posted a Twitter thread spotlighting some of the many abuses perpetrated by Sheriff Joe in his 24-year tenure. The posts went viral.
We've been covering Joe Arpaio for more than 20 years. Here's a couple of things you should know about him… 1/many
— PhoenixNewTimes (@phoenixnewtimes) August 26, 2017
Could there be a legal challenge to Trump’s Pardon of Arpaio?
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton canceled Joe Arpaio’s sentencing hearing for his criminal contempt of court conviction scheduled for October 5. She ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to file briefs listing the legal reasons she should vacate the criminal contempt conviction.
Additionally, a group called Protect Democracy wants to block the pardon by writing a letter to the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon violates legal processes and goes beyond constitutional limits.
The pardon power is in the Constitution. That doesn't mean it trumps the rest of the Constitution. https://t.co/N1bQ3kHV9n
— Protect Democracy (@protctdemocracy) August 30, 2017
What does the public think about the pardon?
Sixty percent of Americans oppose Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, according to a recent poll. Multiple political analysts – including conservative commentators – wrote op-ed articles opposing the pardon. Our latest post highlights the opinion of Andrew C. McCarthy, a conservative analyst with the National Review, on why the pardon is “Unmerited, Unnecessary, Impulsive.”
Most Americans also oppose Trump eliminating Deferred Action for Young Arrivals (DACA).
Department of Justice Asks Judge to Drop the Case Against Arpaio.
Following President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking Judge Bolton to have his conviction overturned.
This is an act of politicization by the DOJ that is not sitting well with many in Maricopa County.
Law experts and immigrant rights advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the pardon. You can read the legal document here.
Pardon Lacks Support, Says Survey
Latino Decisions, a tracking poll that surveys the Latino community about current issues, has released their September poll on the current administration. The numbers do not look good for Trump and Arpaio.
Only 8 percent of Latinos strongly approve of the job of the current administration, with 53 percent expressing strong disapproval. The total number expressing disapproval is 76 percent.
Additionally, 59 percent of Latinos surveyed said Trump is doing a worse job than expected.
Eighty-two percent of Latinos said they disagree with Trump’s pardon of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Of that number, 69 percent strongly disagree with the pardon.
Latino Decisions surveyed a random sample of 755 Latino adults from September 12 to 19, 2017.
Check this tweet.
— America's Voice (@AmericasVoice) September 25, 2017
Arpaio Loses One Battle in Court
Unfortunately, Trump pardoned Arpaio after years of abusing his power as Maricopa County Sheriff but last week the former Sheriff lost another battle in the courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Arpaio’s request for a jury trial in his criminal contempt case. Arpaio unsuccessfully sought a jury trial thinking that a sympathetic jury may have declared him not-guilty.