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Judge Bolton Lets Pardon Stand and Old Joe Arpaio Escapes Justice

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Carmen Cornejo
Written by Carmen Cornejo

He lost his job last November when voters in Maricopa County said, ‘BAZTA Arpaio.’ But today justice WAS NOT served, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is escaping punishment for criminally disobeying court orders to stop racially profiling Latinos.

Judge Susan Bolton, who previously declared Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt in July, accepted President Trump’s controversial and possibly illegal pardon.

Never mind that Joe violated the Constitution of the United States, profiled Latinos, has abused his power for decades and was ordered by a federal judge to stop these practices. The criminal contempt came after Arpaio disobeyed court orders for 17 months so he could use his immigration enforcement efforts for electoral purposes.

Even before the criminal contempt charges, Sheriff Joe had a laundry list of abuse of power accusations, and the county was liable for tens of millions of dollars in legal fees for defending lawsuits, settlements out of court, etc.

Heck, there is a list of people who died under his care at the jails, as our co-founder Michael Lacey reported in Phoenix New Times here and here. 

Several organizations and lawyers argued previously that the pardon was highly unusual (given that it came before sentencing and before any contrition, restitution, reparation and/or punishment) and was therefore invalid.

Legal groups brought forward clear arguments to deny the pardon, as we reported here.

All efforts were in vain. Judge Bolton ultimately gave in to Trump’s power. 

Justice has not been served, and this pardon is a worrisome precedent that affects us all, even outside the immigrant rights movement.

We are profoundly disappointed in the judicial system and Judge Bolton’s decision. But we are not discouraged.

The young people who gave Joe his pink slip last November will lead the state in few years and write history. We are certain.

Here are some of the tweets of the day.