Presidential pardons are not a new concept for the citizens in the US. However, some presidential pardons draw a lot of debate especially if the person receiving the presidential pardon has been linked to human right violation cases. One such controversial pardon is Joe Arpaio’s.
Joe Arpaio’s pardon was the first one issued by president trump after he got into office. Joe Arpaio was one of the toughest sheriff’s America has ever seen. He was the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. He was famous for the heinous acts he committed against those acts was the wrongful imprisonment of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are both retired writers who met in 1997. They both dropped out from Arizona University and teamed up with a pair of other students to create the Phoenix New Times. The Phoenix New Times was a campus weekly edition that came about as a response to the students’ antiwar protests that news stations covered. With the combined efforts of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the audience of the paper grew.
They began exploring other political and social issues. The issues they covered in their paper editions led to the Phoenix New Times gaining prominence among the Nation’s choice newspapers.
Their choice of stories was what led to their wrongful arrest. Their involvement at Village Voice Media Newspaper led them to publish an article that talked about the inquiry of a Grand Jury. However, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey did not know that the Grand Jury was also investigating them as well.
At the same time, Joe Arpaio was frustrated on the regular publications about his aggressive laws tactics against women and inmates mainly if they were immigrants. It was not until 2008 when Joe Arpaio knocked on the doors of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey homes and imprisoned them on the basis that they published an article disclosing the details of a grand jury investigation. Read more: Daniel Taub | Crunchbase and Daniel Taub | Ideamench
Ever since Arpaio took office in 1992, there have been several cases against his aggressive tactics. One such case was in 2011, where Judge Murray Snow told Joe Arpaio that the detainment of people based on suspicions of being an immigrant was not sufficient.
However, it was not until a lawsuit that was filed against Joe Arpaio concerning the conditions of the Tent prison and his mistreatment against Latinos that people began to notice his heinous crimes. Despite the charges against him, he remained defiant and continued doing his work. It was during this time that Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey intervened and exposed Joe Arpaio.
After spending 24 days in Jail, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey filed a suit against Joe Arpaio and exposed his corruption and malpractices to the world. They won the lawsuit, and they were given $3.7 million to settle the suit. With the pardon that Arpaio was granted it unlikely that he will return to office but people are aware of his ruthlessness. With more movements coming up against his pardon, there might be light at the end of the tunnel against his pardon.