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Federal judge refuses to erase Arpaio's conviction from court records

Federal judge refuses to erase Arpaio's conviction from court records”

The federal judge in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case has refused a request to throw out a ruling that explained her reasoning in finding the lawman guilty of a crime.

That's the upshot of a ruling from Arizona judge Susan Ritchie Bolton, who on Thursday turned down Arpaio's application to clear his record. Defendant accepted. The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed.

Bolton accepted the pardon and dismissed the criminal contempt action at an October 4 hearing, saying she was bound to accept it by law.

The Department of Justice, then under President Obama, chose to pursue only Arpaio.

However, Bolton disagreed, pointing to an earlier case (United States v. Noonan) where the judged ruled: "The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial record-keeping".

She continued: "To vacate all rulings in this case would run afoul of this important distinction".

Trump pardoned the 85-year-old former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff in August after he was found guilty of criminal contempt for disobeying court orders regarding his department's handling of immigration-related arrests.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007, accused Arpaio and his deputies of racially profiling Latinos during traffic stops and neighborhood sweeps.

Bolton said pardons don't erase convictions or the facts of cases.

Arpaio's team said it will appeal Bolton's ruling on grounds that she misstated facts in a previous presidential pardon case involving former President Bill Clinton, which she used as legal precedent for her ruling. Arpaio, who lost a bid for his seventh term in 2016, faced up to six months in jail. Many killed themselves. Arpaio's office also failed to investigate hundreds of sex abuse cases.

Jack Wilenchik, one of Arpaio's attorneys, said they plan to appeal Bolton's order.



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