The life and times of the Presidential Clemency Board : a study of impeached executive branch decisionmaking



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This study examines the performance of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Clemency Board during its year of existence from September 15, 1974, to September 15, 1975. The Official Report submitted to the President upon its termination was "impeached" by four Board members who refused to sign the document and who in turn questioned the decisionmaking action of the Board, as well as its overall performance. They submitted a "Minority Report" in which they stated their views and described the actions contained in the report in less than positive terms. This study investigated these sets of actions and found that bureaucratic politics, clientele advocacy, and overfeasance were demonstrable via the factual cooptive comparative findings of the research. The study presents examples of internal cooptation and of superintended decisionmaking that is unique within the executive branch and the presidency. It also discusses an "antinomy" that exists between the President's constitutional grant of pardon power and its interpretation introduced, "sui generis," into the decisionmaking process by the Board and its "staffers," et al.



Vietnam War, 1961-1975, Desertions, Military draft resisters, United States, Amnesty