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He was an important source for stories showing that President Obama was granting pardons on older cases than any president in history — an average of 23 years after the conviction. When another source leaked internal memos showing Obama had made few changes to former President George W. Bush's pardon policy, I used Ruckman data to help show Obama was denying a higher percentage of pardon applications. And when I figured out that the White House count of clemency actions was off by one because one offender refused the conditions of his commutation, Ruckman was able to tell me how unusual that is: it had happened just 16 times before.
Ruckman told me that he assembled the data through painstaking and meticulous research at the National Archives, transcribing thousands of individual clemency warrants into spreadsheets.
But the truth may be more complicated: In looking at the metadata in the spreadsheets this week, I discovered that 20 of them were created not by Ruckman but by Richard Posner, a retired US District Judge and well-regarded legal scholar. It appears they agreed to swap data to put together a complete historical index of every presidential clemency action. (Through an assistant, Posner said he never met Ruckman and “has nothing to say about him.”)
Ruckman was a scholar, but also an advocate. Through his blog and in op-ed pieces, he advocated for a more regular, robust use of the presidential pardon power to correct injustices and show mercy. Though he never said so, I got the impression that those views were informed by Christian values of redemption, forgiveness and mercy.
I'm struggling to reconcile those ideals with his final acts: In his final moments, Ruckman took steps to preserve his professional legacy, even as he apparently plotted to take his own life — and those of his two innocent sons.
"It is a horrific and unimaginable crime, and no circumstances would conceivably justify or mitigate it," said Mark Osler, a University of St. Thomas law professor who was one of nine people to receive the emails. "It seems that the killing was thought out, planned, rather than impulsive. He preserved his work by sending it out to me and others."
originally posted by: Perfectenemy
And so it begins. The /r/CBTS_Stream just got banned. People seem very concerned with this LARP. Odd.