Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Happy New Year
Yesterday's release from prison of Sara Jane Moore, one of two women who tried to assassinate President Ford over a three-weeks period in 1975, hearkens back to the tradition of rehabilitation and mercy that used to a hallmark of the U.S. justice system. Moore was released Monday from the low-security federal prison for women in Dublin, Calif., a suburb of Oakland. Moore took a shot at Ford but missed as the country's only non-elected president left the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, just 17 days after a Manson family follower, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, failed to get off a shot at Ford in Sacramento. Moore served 32 years of a life sentence, back in the day when people sentenced to life in prison were eligible to apply for parole after seven years. Fromme is serving a life sentence in a prison medical facility in Texas but has not requested parole, even though she is eligible to apply for it. Congress abolished such parole in 1987, according to the Reuters international news service. Ford, then the vice president, became president after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974, but lost his bid for election to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Ford died in 2006.