When has the pardon been abused?
Abuse can be in the eye—and politics— of the beholder. Thomas Jefferson was widely criticized for pardoning allies convicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts. More than a century later, President Warren G. Harding was accused of selling pardons for contributions, and gave one to a mob enforcer suspected in 60 murders. Franklin D. Roosevelt pardoned Conrad Mann—convicted of running an illegal lottery—mainly because he was a close associate of Kansas City’s notorious Democratic boss Tom Pendergast. In 1971, Richard M. Nixon granted clemency to Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, who was doing 15 years for jury tampering and fraud; in 1972, the powerful Hoffa threw the union’s support