Senator John McCain received some bad news from the Justice Department last week: Boxing legend Jack Johnson will not receive a pardon from the Obama administration.
Johnson has been dead for more than 60 years -- it's not like he's sitting on death row -- so who cares, right? The "maverick," that's who.
McCain and New York Congressman Peter King have been campaigning to have Johnson pardoned for a 1913 conviction for violating the Mann Act (transporting women across state lines for "immoral purposes").
In October, McCain wrote a letter to Obama asking him to "right this wrong and erase an act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison."
Of all the "acts of racism" that have sent people to prison, the most recent McCain could advocate for is one that happened more than 60 years ago and landed a guy in the clink for less than a year? Chances are there a some folks right here in McCain's home state who are getting rounded up like animals by a certain overzealous sheriff and could probably use the senator's help a bit more than the ghost of Jack Johnson.
The Justice Department seems to agree, telling McCain in a letter last week that it doesn't hand out pardons to dead people.
Not taking no for an answer, McCain, according to the Associated Press, sent yet another letter to Obama today, asking him to reconsider.
Despite the "maverick's" efforts, this seems like a standard case of, "If at you first you don't succeed, give up, it's really not a big deal." Perhaps, then, the senator could shift his focus to helping people who are actually breathing.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.