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Dafna Linzer Discusses Presidential Pardons on Maddow and NewsHour

Last night, Dafna Linzer was a guest on the Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the flawed presidential pardon process. In stories written by Linzer and Jennifer LaFleur, and co-published with the Washington Post, we showed that white criminals are nearly four times as likely as minorities to win a pardon, even when the type of crime and severity of sentence are taken into account.

Linzer explained the factors the Justice Department takes into consideration when considering a pardon and how they often failed to meet their standards when deciding a case.  She also told Maddow how politics an influence the process. "In some cases, people who are seeking pardons who are actively donating to that member of Congress.  We saw instances where there was a donation made on a Tuesday. There was a letter written to the White House on behalf of the applicant three days later. Then the applicant gets a pardon a few weeks later.  A new donation comes in from the family ten days later.  That happened.  We didn't see a single members of Congress in one letter to the pardon office disclose voluntarily if they were writing on behalf of a donor."

You can watch the segment below.

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Linzer was also a guest on PBS NewsHour last night and discussed the investigation with Gwen Ifill. You can watch or read a transcript of that segment here.

Mike Webb

Mike Webb was the vice president/communications of ProPublica. He is a veteran communications specialist with experience in public relations, marketing, sales and campaign work at media companies, think tanks, political organizations and in the entertainment business.

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