WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a case that has dragged on for seven years, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix, Arizona, has refused to cancel the sentencing hearing scheduled October 4, 2017, for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (shown), even after President Trump issued an unconditional presidential pardon to Arpaio.
On Sept. 11, 2017, the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the U. S. Department of Justice filed a petitionwith Judge Bolton asking the U.S. District Court to vacate the verdict issued by Bolton in which she found Arpaio guilty of a criminal misdemeanor for disobeying a preliminary injunction issued in a civil case involving a Maricopa County traffic stop.
“A pardon issued before entry of final judgment moots a criminal case because the defendant will face no consequences that result from the guilty verdict,” the Justice Department argued in their brief urging Judge Bolton to vacate the conviction. “Accordingly, the government agrees the Court should vacate all orders and dismiss the case as moot.”
The complication in the case is that Judge Bolton allowed public advocacy groups opposing Trump’s pardon to file amicus briefs with the federal district court arguing that she should not vacate the conviction, but instead should proceed with the sentencing hearing, as originally scheduled…