Sheriff Joe Arpaio Should Not Receive a Presidential Pardon

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By Brian Tashman

Last week, President Trump told Fox News that he is “seriously considering” a pardon for former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio, telling the network that the disgraced ex-law enforcement officer “has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration” and “doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

Arpaio was recently convicted of criminal contempt after he deliberately violated an earlier court ruling that ordered his department to end its practice of illegally detaining people based only on suspicions about their immigration status. That ruling came in a successful case brought by Latino residents to challenge Arpaio’s racial profiling policies.

His conviction came after years of implementing discriminatory policies, flouting the law, and violating the civil rights of the people he was elected to serve. The ACLU was one of the groups that brought the lawsuit against him.

Trump is set to rally his supporters tonight in Phoenix in the same venue where he campaigned with Arpaio during the presidential primary. Following Trump’s victory in the Arizona Republican primary, Trump gushed that he could “not have done it without you Joe!”

Arpaio further endeared himself to Trump for his brutal policing policies — something Trump endorsed just last month — and his “investigation” into President Obama’s birth certificate, an inquiry that Trump regularly praised for supposedly proving that the former president’s birth certificate is “fake.”

Trump’s personal affection for Arpaio and gratitude for his political support may now help the former sheriff get a pardon. Here are five reasons why a pardon of Arpaio would be a miscarriage of justice and an outright endorsement of racism from President Trump.

  1. Racially profiling Latino communities

In traffic stops, workplace raids, and neighborhood sweeps, Arpaio ordered deputies to target residents solely based on their ethnicity, often detaining people without reasonable suspicion that they were violating any laws that his office was allowed to enforce.

In the civil rights case against Arpaio, the federal court found that Arpaio systematically targeted Latinos for traffic stops and illegally detained them.

After he was ordered to stop his illegal immigration policies, Arpaio deliberately left his unconstitutional practices in place, leading first to a civil contempt proceeding and then to his contempt conviction.

  1. Failing survivors of sexual abuse

The people of Maricopa County paid the price for Arpaio’s pursuit of illegal immigration enforcement policies, suffering damage to community safety. In 2011, the Associated Press found that Arpaio’s office ignored hundreds of sex crime cases, including cases of alleged child abuse. One officer told the AP that many of those cases involved the children of undocumented immigrants.

A Justice Department civil rights complaint similarly stated that the county failed “to adequately respond to reports of sexual violence, including allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of girls,” noting that county’s single-minded focus on immigration arrests led to an increase in the rate of violent crime.

  1. Creating brutal prison conditions for detainees

Arpaio is best known for establishing Tent City, a sprawling, outdoor detention center which he once positively compared to a “concentration camp.” Temperatures in Tent City, which is surrounded by an electrocuted fence, could reach up to 141 degrees; one detainee said life in Tent City felt “like you are in a furnace.” People held there were primarily Latinos — he called it “the tent where all the Mexicans are” — and were put into chain gangs and subjected to humiliating practices like public parades.

Women of color in Arpaio’s jails were particularly mistreated. The Justice Department discovered cases where Latina detainees were “denied basic sanitary items” and were “forced to remain with sheets or pants soiled from menstruation” or were put into “solitary confinement for extended periods of time because of their inability to understand and thus follow a command given in English.”

In what was called “the biggest misspending of state funds in the history of Arizona,” Arpaio’s department misappropriated tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars meant to improve the county’s jails and used the money to conduct immigration sweeps, investigate Arpaio’s critics, and pay for personal travel.

  1. Undermining the health of detainees

People in Arpaio’s jails were subject to substandard health care, sometimes to the point of extreme suffering, even death. The ACLU challenged Arpaio over his failure to meet the health needs of the people in his jails, and won in court when a federal judge agreed that the deficient and dangerous health care system violated detainees’ constitutional right to adequate care. Detainees with mental illnesses were especially victimized in Arpaio’s jails.

Neglect appeared to be standard procedure in Arpaio’s jails. When a diabetic detainee who had not received insulin shots began vomiting and having seizures, she was roundly ignored by prison staff. Eventually, one guard simply moved her into another room to muffle her cries for help.

The Phoenix New Times also discovered that “people hang themselves in the sheriff’s jail at a rate that dwarfs other county lockups,” comparing the medical care found at county jails to those of prisoner-of-war camps.

  1. Abusing public office

Arpaio was known to intimidate supposed enemies, including a judge’s spouse, a political rival, a county official, and a reporter. The Justice Department also found that his office “engaged in a pattern or practice of retaliating against individuals for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech,” as deputies tried “to silence individuals who have publicly spoken out and participated in protected demonstrations” against Arpaio.

In one infamous case, people working under Arpaio staged an assassination attempt against him in order to boost his popularity — framing an innocent man in the process. He spent four years in jail waiting to clear his name and eventually received a $1.1 million settlement.

While Trump seems to think that Arpaio is the victim, a presidential pardon for the former sheriff would just be the latest injustice to befall the countless people wronged by his years of racism, lawlessness, and abuse.

Brian Tashman is a Political Researcher and Strategist with the American Civil Liberties Union



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47 thoughts on “Sheriff Joe Arpaio Should Not Receive a Presidential Pardon”

  1. Jerry Waszczuk

     

    If Hillary Clinton  would won election then  most likely  Joe Arpaio would be pardon as well . We should not forget that the  Obama’s  administration was unscrupulous immigration law enforcer   . Obama’s  “pitbull”  Janet Napolitano deported over 2 millions people when she was a Chief of the  Homeland Security. Now she is  a President of the University of California and playing “nice girl”  on undocumented immigration “  Napolitano is a former Governor and Attorney General of Arizona and

     
    By opposing  the pardon for Joe Arpaio we should also remember that the Obama’s administration build for Donald Trump to use a monstrous  and very effective detention and deportation system .
    I am not defending  Joe Arpaio in any way.   If he mistreated prisoners or detainees or violated their civil and human lives  than he should be prosecuted .  However, if you look previous President’s pardon records than you could find a lot worse examples of pardoning peoples with previous  criminal records . President Obama’s pardoning record is not exception. 
    Joe Arpaio  as Mariposa County Sheriff was  enforcer of law including enforcer of immigration law especially the 2010  “The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act-  Arizona Senate Bill 1070 . which has received national and international attention and has spurred controversy. The Act was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, 2010. 
    President Obama met with the Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer in 2010 in the wake of SB 1070 to discuss border security issues . At the same time the  Obama’s  deportation machine was working at full speed. 
    If I could pardon any politician than I could pardon the former Democratic California Senator Leland  Yee who was framed and  thrown into the  federal  prison  by Janet Napolitano and her buddy Melinda Haag with help of Darrel Steinberg , Jerry Brown and Dianne Feinstein .  
    https://www.davisvanguard.org/2016/05/letter-u-s-attorney-general-philip-talbert/
     
     
     

    1. David Greenwald

      “If Hillary Clinton would won election then most likely Joe Arpaio would be pardon as well .”

      Patently untrue and completely misunderstands the political system.

        1. Jerry Waszczuk

          David
          Why , because posted article in DV . ?
          Your understanding of political system is one way only .  For the  Great Leader and  the  Mother Land  but your Great Leader lost election .    This is your  understanding of  democracy  you live. A hard core socialist .  You know what is hard socialist .?  Right .  If you live in Italy before WW II and you would  read the Mussolini’s  social programs than it would be your system for sure .  If you live in Soviet Union before WW II than you would very privileged persona .

        2. Jerry Waszczuk

          Keith

          Hillary was such liberal as we think . She probably would not care but if Napolitano who campaigned for Hillary  in Arizona  on University of California time than  she would pardon Arpaio .  Hillary is not a president than we never will find out if she would or would not pardon Arpaio.

           

        3. Howard P

          Just like the Bushes (particularly ‘shrub’) and The Donald…

          Now if it was to pardon someone with C or D size cups, The Donald would ignore the money part… his attention would be directed elsewhere..

          Am assuming that does not apply to Arpaio… must just be the $ or or ‘fellow travellers’…

      1. Tia Will

        “If Hillary Clinton would won election then most likely Joe Arpaio would be pardon as well .”

        Patently untrue and completely misunderstands the political system.”

        To say nothing of meaningless speculation since she is not the president. I am perplexed by the “but what if” strategy. Is it not possible to simply deal with the reality that we have now. Joe Arpaio’s actions are not in question. These are actions that he has admitted to and is proud of. He deliberately flouted the laws in question over decades.

        “the disgraced ex-law enforcement officer “has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration” and “doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

        So in keeping with equality under the law, should not 45 also be saying regarding anyone who has ever made a positive contribution to their community in any area ” since they have done a lot for their community, they should be allowed to get away with breaking other laws”…. because they helped me politically” ?

        1. Keith O

          The hyprocrisy of the left is showing its face here once again.  They want to cry that Trump might pardon someone when their chosen Presidents have pardoned many that have committed crimes ranging from treason to other heinous atrocities.  Where was their outrage then?

          1. Don Shor

            In every case I can think of, except Ford pardoning Nixon, the guilty party had served at least some of his or her sentence.

        2. Jerry Waszczuk

           

          Tia

          What are you basing on  your opinion that Hillary would not pardon Joe Arpaio and you are so sure about ? .  You have to base your opinion on something not just saying that Hillary is a Holly Cow.  Trump was not a President when Hilary  Clinton was a Secretary of State and Napolitano was a   Governor and  Attorney General  of Arizona where the  alleged Joe Arpaio’s   crimes took place . Thereafter Napolitano became  a Chief of Homeland Security in Obama administration and she was dealing e dealing with detention and incarceration of undocumented immigrants . You and  others are raising hell because of Trump . Where have you been when Napolitano was deporting millions of undocumented including kids after locked them into Obama’s Dentation Centers . ? Maybe you should read a little about conditions in the Obama’s Hotels for undocumented   than raise your voice. Maybe you should visit one  Obama’s Hotel designed and build  for undocumented folks .  We have few in California and Jerry Brown vetoed the Bill to shut down Obama’s build hotels for undocumented in the State of California. President Trump is not doing anything different than President Obama was doing in regard to undocumented immigrants. I read many articles about Arpaio long time, before Trump became the US President. Where have you been .  Did you just discover America. ? I never have heard before from you from you about Joe Arpaio  on DV . Don’t  be two faced Tia .

           

          [moderator] “Don’t be two faced Tia” — this needs to stop.

        3. David Greenwald

          “What are you basing on  your opinion that Hillary would not pardon Joe Arpaio”

          I’ll answer that – politics. While Hillary may not be what one would call a good liberal, it would be an easy call for her with nothing to possibly gain.

        4. Keith O

          Jerry, give it up.  Hillary would’ve never pardoned Joe Arpaio in a million years.

          Thankfully she’ll never be a position to make any decision on who to pardon.

        5. Jerry Waszczuk

          Keith

          I am not sure about , taking into consideration how “great job ” Arpaio was doing for Napolitano and Obama .  Three millions deportees . I am not going to ramble more about .  Does not matter what President  Trump will  do , totalitarians will chase him anyway and attack him .

        6. David Greenwald

          Keith: “The hyprocrisy of the left is showing its face here once again. They want to cry that Trump might pardon someone when their chosen Presidents have pardoned many that have committed crimes ranging from treason to other heinous atrocities. Where was their outrage then?”

          I’m not sure that that is hypocrisy.  For example I happen to think what Arpaio did is a lot worse than some of the people you have in mind.

  2. John Hobbs

    25 years of oppression and abuse deserves at least 6 months in jail, which will no doubt be much more humane than the concentration camps he ran. Then surely restorative justice dictates that he confront his victims and make amends. Then let Old Nick have his behind.

     

  3. John Hobbs

    “No way Hillary would’ve pardoned Arpaio, he has no money.”

    Fact: The sheriff earned $100,824 a year and, with his wife, Ava, owns a travel agency and commercial property in Scottsdale that is valued at up to $2 million. Their net worth is estimated at $2.5M.

     

    1. Keith O

      Fact, Marc Rich was a billionaire.

      Rich’s hand in the company landed him at #937 on Forbes’ billionaire list in 2010. His estimated net worth of $1 billion was said, at the time, to be “likely low.”

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/06/27/marc-rich-famous-fugitive-alleged-tax-evader-pardoned-by-president-clinton-dies/

      Now that’s the kind of money the Clintons like, the Arpaio’s are paupers compared to that.

      Marc Rich was known as “The King of Oil”.

      1. David Greenwald

        I can see why you would want to discuss the Clintons rather than: “In the civil rights case against Arpaio, the federal court found that Arpaio systematically targeted Latinos for traffic stops and illegally detained them”

        1. Howard P

          Yes… my point was to refute another poster’s… in a ‘corruption’/criminal case in a State proceeding, it isn’t about political affinity… or shouldn’t be… the President should NOT be involved… at all… unless perhaps if the sentence is disproportionate… not apparently the case in AZ.

          KO’s Clinton reference should be KO’d… as others have implied/said, not pertinent…

  4. Tia Will

    You know what is hard socialist .?  Right .  If you live in Italy before WW II and you would  read the Mussolini’s  social programs than it would be your system for sure .  If you live in Soviet Union before WW II than you would very privileged persona .”

    Jerry,

    This thread is not about socialism, Mussolini, or the Soviet Union. It is about how people who break our laws should be treated, both how they should be treated during incarceration, and what represents cause for pardon.

    I am mentioning this both as a regular commenter here, as a member of the editorial board, and as a back up moderator to Don. I have never used my discretion as moderator yet and do not want to now. I would just like to keep the discussion at least reasonably on track. With that in mind, I am requesting that you stay at least loosely on topic. If you would like to discuss this, you can reach me with a Twitter DM.

    1. Jerry Waszczuk

       

      Tia

      I responded to David’s  “shut up Jerry”  response which was   ” Patently untrue and completely misunderstands the political system”

       

      Previously you rambled about abortion and contraception in your comments on posted DV’s  articles which were completely unrelated to your  profession .

       

    2. Howard P

      Actually, it is about the pardon power… and how a ‘dictator’ can use/abuse that power… I do not equate the two (yet), but look at old footage of Mussolini, particularly body positioning and facial expressions, and compare to the president… am just waiting for him to say “the trains run on-time”…

      The good thing is we have ‘checks and balances’… in America, we have prevention/remedies… pre-WWII Italy did not…

      The president is a ‘wanna-be’ (dictator)… he does not suffer criticism nor ‘loss of image’ lightly [see Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin]… many accounts say that Bannon was dumped not for his views, but for his ‘up-staging’ of the Prez… am inclined to believe those accounts… he has already told two wives “you’re fired!”  As he has told several hand-picked advisors…

      Both Mussolini and Hitler had ‘mistresses’… not wives… Hitler married Eva right before their deaths… the Prez did the divorce/remarry thing … twice now….

      1. Jerry Waszczuk

        Howard

        It is about pardon power . It is good thing that we have checks and balances . However,  as you noticed during the primary in election the  populist  Donald Trump wiped out I  believe  16 Republican candidates and marched to the White House by defeating Hillary Clinton who almost lost to socialist  Bernie Sanders . The situation could change drastically . The United States President has a lot more than pardon power .

        The today’s  political climate  in USA is not similar to Mussolini’s  or Franco’s but rather akin more closely to political climate in Germany before 1933 . USA is not an  exception . In some European countries  I observed that liberalism era is over and Nationalists are marching . Poland , my native country is a best example where Polish Congress and Senate is in hands of ultraconservative party the  Law & Justice and President is same party as well . The chief of the Law & Justice party is being labeled as Polish Trump.

  5. Jim Hoch

     

    Trump was elected president and to him is given the power to pardon. If Brian Tashman is concerned he can run for president himself and then he may make these decisions.  While I am not an Arpaio supporter I will note he did not actually murder anyone unlike many of the people Brown just pardoned.

    I do draw the line at Trump pardoning himself though.

    1. David Greenwald

      So your premise is that power to do something, makes it okay in every instance (with one possible exception) to carry it out, in your estimation?

      1. Jim Hoch

        I did not say it was OK with me, I believe it is very unwise. However the article states it is a “miscarriage of justice” and this I disagree with. The constitution give him great discretion to decide.  It’s also a matter of perspective, you are political so you care about political acts. many people are more concerned about violent crime and care less about political symbolism.

        While Trump has not yet either pardoned or commuted his sentence I do like that he is doing this early in his term rather than on the way out the door as is traditional.

        Howard, “U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton wrote that Arpaio had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the court’s command and that his attempt to pin the conduct on those who worked for him rang hollow.”

        So it’s a federal proceeding.

        1. David Greenwald

          “the article states it is a “miscarriage of justice” and this I disagree with.”

          Fair enough, but that comes down to a subjective disagreement.  It comes down to a question as to what is justice and what constitutes a miscarriage of it.  I suspect, we will all draw different lines for that.

          I do tend to believe that abuse of power is a more serious problem for the state than violent crime.  We have systems to deal effectively with violent crime (for better or worse), our systems are poorly equipped in my view to deal with abuse of power whether it’s by a police officer or an elected official.

        1. Jerry Waszczuk

          Because Arpaio  was not  charged or  found guilty of any crimes listed in the article which are :Racially profiling Latino communities; failing survivors of sexual abuse; creating brutal prison conditions for detainees; undermining the health of detainees than he should be pardon by President Trump for defy the court order . Apparently Arpaio’s abusive behavior  was investigated but was not ever  proved  in the court of law . 

           

  6. Jerry Waszczuk

    I would like to point that  Joe Arajo was found guilty  of criminal contempt. The  U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty for defying a judge’s 2011 court order to refrain from racially profiling Latinos during patrols and turning them over to federal immigration authorities.
    Arpajo never was sued or  found guilty for his alleged abusive behavior  or any other crime in relation to prisoners or undocumented immigrants . Aroio has been  punished only  for the  violation of the  court order  and Judge slammed him with  criminal contempt for being disrespectful to the law and the  court. It has  nothing to do with  his alleged malicious treatment of prisoners and detainees .

     

      1. Jerry Waszczuk

         
        Nobody is questioning whether Arpaio should be  permitted, allow  or not  to defy a court order .  However , the Brian Tashman’s  article is not much about the  court order but is full of  the serious allegations and accusations aimed at Arpaio ,including :
         

        Racially profiling Latino communities; failing survivors of sexual abuse; creating brutal prison conditions for detainees; undermining the health of detainees.

         
        Arapaio was not ever charged ,  convicted or even sued for committing these above listed alleged crimes thus accusations were never proved as a true  and legally valid .  Why Arpaio was never charged and convicted for such alleged crimes which are violations of human rights . . Any clue ?  
         

        1. David Greenwald

          Hard to know the answer although he was investigated, but perhaps the justice department ran out of time: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/joe-arpaio-justice-department-227468

        2. Jerry Waszczuk

          David

          Arpaio was  a Sheriff  for 24 years from 1993to 2017 .  25 years is a long time to charge guy and convict him if he was monster and criminal . Arpaio did not hide anything or cover up  anything . He was and is proud what he was doing  and he  advertised himself as a  macho Sheriff . I remember one article about him during the  era of  the Iraq war when he attempted to feed the  prisoners with the prepared food (packages ) for soldiers in Iraq.   Prisoners refused to eat such food because food was disgusting  for them and the mutiny had to be put down by him.

           

  7. Tia Will

    What are you basing on  your opinion that Hillary would not pardon Joe Arpaio and you are so sure about”

     What also needs to stop besides the name calling is falsely attributing words to me that I have not said. No where did I opine about whether HRC would or would not have pardoned Arpaio. What I did say is that I thought this was speculation and as such irrelevant to the current conversation. If you re read my post you will see that.

  8. Tia Will

    I responded to David’s  “shut up Jerry”  response”
    Respectfully Jerry, no one has told you to “shut up” nor even not to ramble. The only two requests that have been made of you today is that you remain even vaguely on topic and that you not name call. 

    1. Jerry Waszczuk

      Tia

      Shut up not  in exact words,   If  you  read the articles than articles is so  suggestive  that Sheriff Arpaio is/was a monster., violator of human rights  and violator of basically   every possible law state and fedaral law and never should be pardoned  President .  In fact Sheriff Arpaio was sentenced by Judge  for  defying  a court order  not for the crimes listed in the article. You and David  don’t  want to hear the true  because yours and David agenda is President Trump you can’t stand .  Shut up “Jerry”  He should be pardon . He is old . Is not worth spend more on him using taxpayers money for incarceration in the Federal Prison Minimum Security Facility . Is very expensive . More expensive than Hilton Hotel .

  9. Tia Will

    Hi Jim,

    Just out of curiosity, why do you see an unwise act perpetrated early in a term as better than one perpetrated “on the way out the door” ?

  10. Tia Will

    Keith

    Presidents have pardoned many that have committed crimes ranging from treason to other heinous atrocities.  Where was their outrage then?”

    I believe that each case should be judged on its own merits. Never have I said that I agree with all of the actions of any President. If you have specific questions about the merits of any case, and it is relevant to any article on the Vanguard, just ask and I will be happy to review the case as necessary and state my opinion. If you are not willing to do that, then it becomes just another “oh, but look at that” question.

  11. Jerry Waszczuk

    BREAKING NEWS

    President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio, the retired Arizona lawman who was convicted for intentionally disobeying a judge’s order in an immigration case. 

    It was expected  and  Brian Tashman’s  and other like him  propaganda  did work on President Trump to change his mind and his decision to pardon 85 years old Joe Arpaio .

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