Presidential pardons have been issued throughout the history of the United States, and many of which are often controversial and unusual in nature.
The latest pardon issued by President Donald Trump for Joe Arpaio, who was considered the toughest sheriff in America’s Maricopa County, has not escape controversy because the ex-sheriff was publicized and known for his notorious and unlawful dispensation of authority, including the illegal arrests and detention of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Ten years previously under the darkness of the night, agents from the Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit knocked on the doors of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey in Phoenix, Arizona.
The reason for their presence is because Joe Arpaio ordered the arrests and detention of Larkin and Lacey due to charges of giving out details regarding an investigation being conducted by a grand jury.
During that time, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were affiliated with the Village Voice Media newspaper, where Lacey was the executive editor and Larkin was the Chief Executive Officer.
In the morning of the day that they were arrested, they featured an article that contained a probe that is being undertaken by a grand jury on the Village Voice Media newspaper – the Phoenix New Times.
But Lacey and Larkin were not aware during that instance is that the grand jury was actually doing an investigation of them.
On the other hand, Joe Arpaio has been increasingly irked by the swelling exposure the Phoenix New Times was doing on his unlawful dispensation of authority from the time he became Maricopa County’s sheriff. The notorious tent city he had built as well as the ill treatment and abuse of inmates including women and children especially if they hold immigrant status, have all been incessantly published by numerous newspapers.
From the time Joe Arpaio has been appointed as sheriff, he was duly informed of what is illegally and legally permissible by law.
And in 2011, Judge Murray of the United District Court informed Arpaio that jailing immigrants due to mere suspicion is not an acceptable evidence on whether the said immigrant has proper status or not. And without proper evidence it is unlawful to detain that individual.
The mentioned scenarios were discussed privately with the sheriff prior to 2011. However, they became known when a legal complaint was filed against Arpaio about 10 years in the past.
The case bared the dire circumstances the inmates went through in the tent city, and along with that evidence, he was indicted for violating the Latinos as well as the other immigrant groups’ rights.
After Arpaio was convicted, he lost his bid for another term for the sheriff’s office, and eventually Lacy and Larking were given a cash settlement of $3.75 million for their illegal arrests instigated by Arpaio.
Currently, the Frontera Fund, which Lacy and Larkin founded through their cash settlement continue to help Latinos and other immigrant’s throughout Arizona. But with the pardon given by President Trump, it is hard to conclude where Arpaio will be or how things will fare out for him.