Crimes and Pardons
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Arizona canceled former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's sentencing hearing, which had been scheduled for Oct. 5. Bolton also outright declined Arpaio's request to vacate the criminal contempt-of-court conviction due to the pardon he received from President Trump. On July 31, Bolton had found Arpaio in contempt of court for flagrantly disregarding a series of orders from another federal judge to cease stopping and detaining Latino drivers based on assumptions about their immigration status.
Instead, Bolton ordered the Justice Department and Arpaio to appear in court on Oct. 4 for oral arguments on his request to vacate the conviction. "There is case law that says a pardon implies an admission of guilt, and that will have to be argued in open court," The Arizona Republic notes. The outcome of the hearing could affect civil cases against Arpaio.
On Monday, Arpaio and his attorney, Mark Goldman, complained that the media was misrepresenting his conviction and unfairly calling him prejudiced. "The sheriff is not a racist and has never been a racist, and any type of such accusation was upsetting and extremely distressing to him," Goldman said, adding that Arpaio will appeal if Bolton doesn't vacate the conviction.