Of all the people rotting in federal prisons, President Trump has exercised his power of presidential pardon for the first time to pardon a pretty nasty SOB.
Trump formally pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona Sheriff, on Friday.
The Atlantic provides the context:
[Arapio's] extreme treatment of prisoners and detainees drew widespread condemnation and allegations of racial bias. A 2011 Justice Department report concluded that Arpaio engaged in “unconstitutional policing” by systematically targeting Latinos for racial profiling. That same year, in response to a lawsuit, a federal judge ordered Arpaio to stop detaining and harassing residents of largely Latino neighborhoods. He ignored the order and continued to perform sweeps, claiming they were lawful.Arpaio also launched
The judge charged him with civil contempt in 2015 and criminal contempt, a misdemeanor offense, the following year. A federal court found him guilty in July. Trump’s pardon comes before that legal process against Arpaio had finished: His sentencing hearing was scheduled for October, where he faced a maximum of six months behind bars.
the Tent City Jail for prisoners.
Arpaio routinely pointed to the notorious, outdoor Tent City Jail he opened in the 1990s as a symbol of his "tough on crime" stance. Inmates live in tents through the sweltering Arizona summer heat and are issued old-fashioned striped prison jumpsuits and pink underwear.
And under Arapaio's watch a lot of real police work never got done.
From the Boston Globe:
Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office during a three-year period ending in 2007 -- including dozens of alleged child molestations -- that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.And there is this from Slate:
In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations -- with victims as young as 2 years old -- where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.
Those individuals unfortunate enough to languish in the county jails, which Arpaio’s office operated, suffered grievously. Arpaio’s deputies allegedly put Spanish-speaking inmates in solitary confinement to punish them for not understanding English. They also refused to accept requests for basic daily services that were written in Spanish and pressured Latino inmates into signing deportation forms. The vast majority of inmates in these jails were Latinos detained on suspicion of being undocumented. Jail staff regularly referred to Latino inmates as “wetbacks,” “Mexican bitches,” and “stupid Mexicans.” A federal judge ruled twice that Arpaio’s deputies unlawfully deprived detainees of food and medical care, and tortured inmates who were on psychotropic medication by locking them in unbearably hot solitary confinement cells, which caused an increased risk of heat-related illness. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that these practices violated the Eighth Amendment’s bar on cruel and unusual punishment.