Federal Judge Refuses To Erase Joe Arpaio’s Conviction Despite Trump Pardon


A federal judge on Thursday shot down former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid to sweep his criminal record clean.

Arpaio, the controversial former lawman in Arizona’s Maricopa County, was granted a pardon by President Donald Trump on Aug. 25. He had been found in criminal contempt after a five-day bench trial earlier this year and faced the possibility of up to six months in jail. After the pardon, Arpaio petitioned the court to clear his record and prevent the ruling from being used in future litigation.

The case raised the novel question of how far a presidential pardon actually reaches.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said the pardon only freed Arpaio from possible punishment. In a four-page order offering a check on the president’s executive power, Bolton wrote that a pardon could not erase the facts of the case.

“The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping,” Bolton wrote in a four-page decision. “To vacate all rulings in this case would run afoul of this important distinction. The Court found Defendant guilty of criminal contempt.”

The president issued the pardon, and Arpaio was spared “from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed,” the judge wrote. “It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case.”

(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Kyle Swenson



  1. The federal judge found him guilty only because he publicly revealed Obama’s birth place providing proof with his fraudulent birth certificate. This is something the liberal judges cannot forgive Arpaio.

  2. The unelected judges, appointed for lifetime, are growing into mini dictators who routinely pervert the intent of the lawmakers elected by we the people. The judges should be democratically elected for a four year term, just like any other political office. There should be criminal repercussions for the unconstitutional grabbing of power by any government official. The usurping judges are stealing the legislative powers, and should be charged with treason.

  3. Legally, the judge is correct. A pardon, once the offender is convicted, doesn’t exonerate that person, nor does it expunge the criminal record. It removes the punitive stage of the conviction, from that moment only. This is why many people who feel that they have been wrongfully tried and jailed seek a retrial, which would establish their innocence, rather than a pardon, which would set them free, but de facto recognize their crime.

  4. Look who Obama excused ( half the jails and 5 terrorists +) and don’t remember that much hysteria, the anti Trump people treat Trump as a fake president and they are waiting for the real president to come forward. There is so much hate now for one person it is unbelievable but the Democrats did it to themselves they should have allowed the true voting and primary proses take affect and there may have been another out come, but that is how it is now hate, hate, hate. too bad for the country.


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