After a long drought of strong opinions on governance on this blog (Econstu really suffered), I'm back to start opining on the intersection between public policy and economics. That, or whatever I need to vent about. To start things off, why do pardons exist? Our presidents and governors take opportunity of their last days in office to free well-connected individuals and help them circumvent the justice system. Let's follow this to its logical conclusion.
If a governor pardons a man, it stands to reason that that governor believed the sentence to be too harsh. Yet, what is our justice system for, if not to mete out proper sentences for wrongdoing? If a governor can pardon anyone, why do we even have the need for the court system? After all, we gave the governor the right to pardon, so he must know better than judges and juries. (Cue sarcasm) In honor of the time-honored tradition of the pardon, I propose that we abolish our judicial system and leave all legal matters up to governors from here on out (end sarcasm).
We have courts to serve justice, we have governors to govern. Let's stop letting governors play pretend all-knowing all-seeing arbiter of justice at the end of their terms.
For reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/us/many-pardon-applicants-stressed-connection-to-mississippi-governor.html?hp