- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Bush on Monday pardoned 14 people and commuted the sentences of two others whose crimes included drug offenses, fraud and breaking laws meant to protect endangered species.

The list did not include any of the high-profile criminals who may seek pardons before Mr. Bush leaves office in January.

According to published reports, financier Michael Milken, known as the “Junk Bond King” is seeking a pardon; commutations are being sought for former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards; former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, California Republican; and two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving prison time for shooting a drug smuggler. Dozens of lawmakers in Washington have been pushing Mr. Bush to pardon the agents.

With only 171 pardons and eight commutations, Mr. Bush has granted far fewer clemency petitions than recent two-term presidents.

President Clinton granted 396 pardons and 61 commutations, while President Reagan granted 393 pardons and 13 commutations.

The president gave no indication Monday about what further pardons and commutations may be forthcoming.

“The president carefully considered recommendations for pardons and commutations on a case-by-case basis and made his determinations,” said White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. “He will continue to review clemency requests.”

Those pardoned Monday were: Leslie Owen Collier, of Charleston, Mo.; Milton Kirk Cordes, of Rapid City, S.D.; Richard Micheal Culpepper, of Mahomet, Ill.; Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer, of Fort Worth, Texas; Andrew Foster Harley, of Falls Church; Obie Gene Helton, of Rossville, Ga.; Carey C. Hice Sr., of Travelers Rest, S.C.; and Geneva Yvonne Hogg, of Chamblee, Ga.

Also William Hoyle McCright Jr., of Midland, Texas; Paul Julian McCurdy, of Sulphur, Okla.; Robert Earl Mohon Jr., of Grant, Ala.; Ronald Alan Mohrhoff, of Los Angeles; Daniel Figh Pue III, of Conroe, Texas; and Orion Lynn Vick, of White Hall, Ark., were pardoned.

John Edward Forte, of North Brunswick, N.J., and James Russell Harris, of Detroit, who were serving prison sentences for drug crimes, received commutations.

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