Pardoned War Criminal Wants to Become Lawyer

This is some mighty, let’s call it interesting reading here:

Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance has a new mission: To become a lawyer and press for reform of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, under which he was convicted of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Lorance said he is driven by the “leave no man behind” credo he learned in boot camp in seeking to help others caught up in the military justice system, which he claims wrongly sent him to prison on charges of ordering his platoon to open fire on three unarmed Afghans, killing two.

“If I had gone over there and made the decision that I was going to fight the war on my own terms and just do whatever I want, I should still be there – in jail – if that’s what I did,” Lorance said in a lengthy interview with

“But that’s not what I did. Every single thing I did was for the good of this country and to try and do my job to the best of my ability,” he said. “I was just so in over my head once they brought charges and everything.”

So he wants to change the UCMJ and the MCM because he was treated so unfairly? Also, isn’t one supposed to agree that one had done the crime to accept the pardon? Looks to me like he’s denying that. Why isn’t the pardon revoked (is that even a thing)?

I don’t believe that Nixon ever admitted that he had committed crimes in order for President Ford to pardon him.

There is some legal precedent that accepting a pardon is equivalent to confessing that you did what you were pardoned for, but it isn’t very firmly established.

Further down in the article I linked (I missed it on first reading) is this nifty bit:

Lorance’s lawyers went back into Lungstrum’s court, citing the pardon in an effort to have his conviction expunged. But the judge said the pardon itself is now the main roadblock.

In his Jan. 24, 2020, ruling, Lungstrum wrote that Lorance’s “acceptance of the pardon was an admission of his guilt, leaving this matter without a case or controversy.”

“His knowing and voluntary acceptance of the full and unconditional Presidential Pardon waives his right to collaterally attack his conviction through his habeas petition, thus rendering this matter moot and subject to dismissal,” he wrote.

So, yes, he did admit what he was charged and convicted of doing.

Another nifty bit in the article is the quote from the clown in the Oval Office stating why he issued the pardon:

At a Nov. 26, 2019, campaign rally in Florida, Trump said, "Just this week, I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state. … I will always stick up for our great fighters.

So the pardon was issued because the clown believes “the deep state” included the commanding officer, the court-martial convening authority, the prosecuting attorney, the military judge, and the military jury all pulled some shenanigans to unfairly convict this poor soul whom The United American Patriots are trying to get acquitted. You know what? Fuck off, TUAP!

Nixon was never charged with a crime after he left office, he was being pardoned pre-emptively. Per Wikipedia, it was " a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president."

This sort of thing has come up a lot in our many definitions of pardoning lately, and it seems misguided to me.

One purpose (not the only one) of a pardon is for someone who is legitimately innocent but gets railroaded by the system to be spared because the executive sees that it is not in the interest of justice to let that stand, but other avenues to have the conviction overturned are not feasible (as a whole the legal system tends to value things like rule following and precision more than it values justice).

There are many such people, and we should not accept a value system that forces them to admit some kind of guilt. Now, sure, the asshole in question is not such a person, but we don’t get to decide our principles based on specific assholes.

We should not expect or require a pardon to imply or explicitly demand an acceptance of guilt.

Yeah, I don’t think you have to admit guilt to be pardoned; you can be pardoned for a class of offenses. I think it covers prosecution past and future related to acts committed in the past. I don’t think one could pull off prosecution for future crimes, as that would be immunity, which no person has.

Evidently one does have to admit guilt to accept a pardon if one has been convicted by a court-martial. I see nothing wrong with that. The appellate process is supposed to be the remdy for improper conviction. And the case currently under discussion certainly is ot the hill to die on to change the current situation.

The situation with Nixon was basically a pre-emptive attack: Ford was telling the courts that even if convicted, Nixon would immediately receive a pardon and would suffer no consequence. Consider the era and the expense that would have been incurred for no actual result.

The admission of guilt is implied by the word - you ask someone to pardon you if you have committed an offense against them.

No. He was actually pardoned. If the Carter administration had tried to prosecute Nixon, Nixon would have gone to court and shown his pardon and the prosecution would have been quashed regardless of what the new administration would have done.

Likewise, there is no requirement that you “admit guilt” to receive a pardon. There was an old Supreme Court ruling saying that people could refuse to accept a pardon on the grounds that public opinion might view it as an admission of guilt, but the court walked that back in another case and it was never ever a requirement of a pardon.

Yes, Nixon was pardoned. He was not ever convicted. As I said, Ford’s action was a preemption. Also, as I said, it does appear that for a court-martial conviction, one does admit guilt to accept the pardon.

The word “pardon” as a reprieve from legal process is hundreds of years old and the definition does not necessarily track the modern colloquial use of the word.

It also doesn’t even necessarily apply. You don’t have to request a pardon. It can be granted without any request, or at the request of a third party.

This thread got me wondering about Gary Krist.

Krist was convicted in the 1968 kidnapping of a young woman who was buried underground in a ventilated box for 83 hours before her rescue. After his conviction he expressed an interest in eventually becoming a physician. Yeah, right, I thought.

It turns out he did get to become an M.D. He managed to wangle a pardon, got through med school and into residencies (he was accused of sexual improprieties with patients in West Virginia), then managed to get a job as a physician at a clinic in Indiana. He eventually lost his medical license there for lying about disciplinary action taken during residency, or according to another account the heat was turned up after a newspaper story about his glorious past.

So, a guy whose background included grand theft auto and incarceration in three states by the time he was 18, a grotesque kidnapping and a diagnosis of borderline schizophrenia by a prison shrink gets to become a doctor. It’s the American Dream.

After his medical career fizzled out Krist was caught on a sailboat with a million dollars worth of cocaine. There’s been a spot of trouble over that. :frowning:

Maybe he still has a shot at becoming a lawyer.

Entrepreneur, thief, accused of sexual improprieties, lying, importation of illegal aliens wife and her parents, diagnosis of narcissism schizophrenia, adderall cocaine - he should go into politics; He has the white right stuff for one particular party.

Presidential doctor, press secretary, faux news reporter, AM radio host, Covid cure shyster, religious leader - opportunities abound.