A Controversial Presidential Pardon and the Response of the Victims to It

It is not something new that President Donald Trump has controversial standings on various issues from global warming to approach towards migrants.

The latest one is a Presidential pardon towards one of the most notorious sheriffs in the history of America. The pardon towards Sheriff Joe Arpaio has created wide anger in the society, especially people who have become victims of his misdeeds. The pardon was for contempt of court against Arpaio for ignoring court orders to refrain from racial profiling on Latinos in his Maricopa County.

Many people lashed out at the decision, and some of them were the victims of Arpaio’s torture. Among them, the most prominent names were Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

Both of them were media persons from Arizona, and they got arrested in 2007 by the security forces of Arpaio, the notorious Sheriff of Maricopa County during those days.

They were targeted as they used their newspaper, Phoenix New Times, to expose the custodial deaths of inmates, suicides inside his prisons, racial profiling towards Latinos, harsh campaigns against political opponents, and more. Interestingly, both of them were writing about his misdeeds from 1992 – the first time Arpaio assumed office. The reporters were arrested and put behind bars by the Sheriff from their home at midnight.

However, the Sheriff could not control the national outcry against the arrest, and he was forced to release both immediately. It was remembered as one of the darkest chapters in the history of American press freedom.

While coming to the President’s decision, Lacey said that Trump is stupid, and the recent decision in favor of Arpaio proved it. He continued that it looked like a marriage between two filthy and corrupt individuals. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

The decision is written on the corpses of many innocent lives lost inside the prisons of Arpaio.

The sheriff was controversial throughout his six terms and known for brutal prison conditions. He even created a tent city prison which is called multiple times as concentration camp. Interestingly, Arpaio was even accused of diverting jail funds worth $100 million along with many sex crimes where a significant percent of victims were children.

However, the racial profiling case on Latinos, Melendres v. Arpaio, finally cost him too much and received the contempt of court. More than the Presidential order, Lacey thinks that the escape of Arpaio is a mockery to the justice system.

He thinks that Arpaio escaped from even without a trial on cases where thousands of people experienced his torture. The coverage of Phoenix New Times was always a thorn for the sheriff, and he applied various measures before arresting both the reporters, says Larkin.

New Times reporters were not allowed at his press conferences, threatening reporters with legal actions, not providing county documents requested by the newspaper, and more.

The reporters think that an investigative report on Arpaio in which he and his wife were concealing many parcels of his commercial real estate would have caused the sudden provocation for their arrest. However, the continued legal battle ended with the county paying a heavy compensation to Larkin and Lacey in 2013.

Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:


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