To the editor: Last week I signed a petition asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to use his pardoning authority to empty prisons and jails of all but the most dangerous inmates. Though it might sometimes be “just” to put a man in a cage for his crimes, unless his crime merits death, he should not be imprisoned with others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On July 10, President Trump commuted the prison sentence of a 67-year-old nonviolent felon who was scheduled to be locked up for 40 months. Roger Stone, the president's longtime political advisor, was not pardoned; he remains a convicted felon.
I would sooner be maimed with a chain saw than vote for Trump. But keeping old guys out of cages in a time of plague is the right thing to do. It does not lay waste to the values I embrace.
Trump has done many things that shame America; commutation of a possible death sentence by virtue of being locked up during a pandemic is not one of them. I hope the president and all state governors are looking for opportunities to do it again and again.
Mark Janssen, Yorba Linda
To the editor: With all of the scandals that have occurred related to Trump's 2016 campaign and his presidency, it is difficult to focus on the seriousness of the crimes committed by Stone, the president's old crony.
Stone was convicted on seven felony counts. To call his investigation and conviction a hoax is typical of Trump and his loyalists when the subject of Russian involvement in the 2016 election arises. Stone lied to Congress to hide evidence pertaining to Trump's involvement in the campaign events surrounding Russia, WikiLeaks and the stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Stone's commutation is one more travesty by Trump and a clear indicator we need to rein in the use of the presidential pardon.
Linda Randolph, Los Angeles
To the editor: Trump's commutation of Stone's sentence is his latest act in overthrowing the rule of law. There is one set of laws for the president's friends and scoundrels, and there is another set for the rest of us.
The president continues to violate his oath of office, and members of Congress let him get away with it. Where is the outrage?
Carol Karas, Camarillo
To the editor: Recently, the Supreme Court told Trump that he's not above the law. His response seems to be: "Want to bet? I can still control the law."
Betty Rome, Culver City