Quote of the Day - For a moment in time on September 9, 1972 I was the luckiest person in the world. I was standing on the awards podium, inside the track and field stadium at the Olympic Games in Munich Germany, gazing through a blur of mild shock and tears, trying to focus on the American flag.
Steroids and track races don't mix well, as disgraced Olympic medalist Marion Jones found out when sentenced to a six-month prison sentence for using the performance enhancing drugs. She was also convicted of lying to federal agents investigating a check-fraud scheme involving millions of dollars and the husband of her son, and sentenced to two months, which she is now serving concurrently in Texas.
She has asked the President to commute her sentence and issue a pardon. In the past, there have been anywhere from 200 or so to more than 1,000 applications for pardon pending at one time. The process starts in the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice. Surprisingly, many are granted, but you've probably never known any of them.
Nevertheless, Ms. Jones has filed a request for commutation.
Not everyone agrees, however. In fact, the Associated Press reports that the new CEO of USA Track & Field, Doug Logan, wrote an open letter to the president asking him not to commute her sentence. Here's an excerpt from his letter: "With her cheating and lying, Marion Jones did everything she could to violate the principles of track and field and Olympic competition." .. . "When she came under scrutiny for doping, she taunted any who doubted her purity, talent and work ethic. Just as she had succeeded in duping us with her performances, she duped many people into giving her the benefit of the doubt."
I'd love to show you Marion's request, but the Department of Justice hasn't released it yet, as best I can tell. Here are the standards she's supposed to meet, but this year brings us to the close of President George W. Bush's term, and late-term presidents are notorious for issuing clemency or pardon petitions in their waning days.
Since Jones has served most of her sentence already, she's likely looking more for a pardon to clear her name. Time will tell whether this president will honor her wish or the wish of the USA Track & Field CEO.
How would you vote?