When U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton validated the pardon granted to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it was a confirmation of some of the worst fears held by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. The pardon by the president had proved that for men who shared a similar ideology and had managed to get into power they were willing to do whatever it took despite it being unpopular to protect that ideology.
As a matter of law the validation by Judge Bolton meant that all sentences that would have been issued against Sheriff Joe Arpaio were effectively nullified and despite him ignoring the orders of a federal judge, he would face no consequences for these actions.
It would be interesting to note that this pardon was issued long before the sheriff was meant to be sentenced this was not your usual presidential pardon which is in most cases issued as the person is serving their sentence. This was thus an unusually pardon and one that on closer scrutiny would be viewed as a way of proving a point and supporting those that the president shared ideologies with especially on immigration.
The sheriff and the President had been brought together by the Birther movement a creation of Trump that looked to discredit President Obama alleging that he was not legitimately elected into office as he was not born in America.
The sheriff was a vocal supporter of this ideology and by so doing had found an ally in President Trump. The sheriff had in 2007 been sued in Melendres v. Arpaio’s lawsuit which was brought against the sheriff for racial profiling.
Based on the affidavits brought on as well as witness statements the presiding judge, District Judge G. Murray Snow found the sheriff guilty of various offenses and as such ordered that the department make various changes and the same be overseen by a court-appointed monitor.
Once this was brought to the attention of the court, another lawsuit would ensue. Already the first lawsuit had incurred the county of Maricopa more than 70 million dollars. The sheriff would this time be brought before District Judge Susan Bolton who after weighing all the evidence in the case determined that indeed the sheriff was guilty. But before she would pass any sentence as mandated by the law president Trump issued a pardon.
The sheriff had thus in essences gotten away with violating the terms of a court order a crime that the sheriff faced up to six months in jail for.
The jail term possibility had already been cast in doubt by most who knew how the judicial system worked and was thus further puzzled by the need for the president to issue a presidential pardon.
The sheriff was virtually a free man, but he had lost the mandate of the people to continue serving as there sheriff. The 85-year-old former sheriff now remains a strong supporter of Trump, but as for Lacey and Larkin, they continue to critic that pardon.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: