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Opinion | Trump’s Interventions in the Justice System

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Exerts His Power With a Spree of Pardons” (front page, Feb. 19):

In my eyes, President Trump’s commutation of the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, is the last straw in a long line of abhorrent transgressions. For years, I have given Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt. I supported his tax cuts and his attempt to curtail the devastating impact of the authoritarian Chinese state. However, enough is enough.

Mr. Blagojevich attempted to essentially sell former President Barack Obama’s Senate seat. He undermined, in the most heinous fashion, the sacred trust of the American people. Now Mr. Trump has done the same by commuting his sentence.

This madness must end now. The American people have the power to restore dignity and sanity to our governing institutions. We must take a stand against the actions of this president and the threat that he represents to our democratic republic.

Henry J.H. Wilson
Barrington, Ill.

To the Editor:

As someone who has received clemency and has advocated for others who have been convicted of nonviolent drug charges, I support President Trump’s use of his pardon powers. I am hoping that other elected officials who have pardon power follow Mr. Trump’s lead and free deserving individuals who have fallen through the cracks of our criminal justice system.

There are many cases of injustice that exist and need to be corrected. If critics continue to question the actions of Mr. Trump about whom he chooses to grant clemency or pardons to, it might prevent him and others from using their pardon powers. We need to embrace the use of this power in order to save lives and support the president instead of putting him down.

Anthony Papa
The writer is the author of “15 to Life” and “This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency.”

To the Editor:

Re “Barr’s Irritation Mounts as Boss Claims to Be Chief Law Officer” (front page, Feb. 19):

After publicly attempting to disempower the F.B.I. and the State Department, President Trump has turned his attention to the justice system. Not only did he not heed the attorney general’s pleas to stop the public statements and tweeting, he doubled down, asserting his right to speak and tweet at will, and then, to show William Barr who’s boss, declared himself the “chief law enforcement officer of the country.”

More than 2,000 former Justice Department prosecutors and officials have called for Mr. Barr’s resignation, and representatives of America’s federal judges called an emergency meeting to discuss the president’s intervention in judicial matters. Mr. Barr’s reputation for probity is in tatters. How much humiliation is he willing to absorb?

Perhaps the attorney general should have talked to Jeff Sessions before taking his current job.

David Sadkin
Bradenton, Fla.

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