by Eric Lopez
During a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center Aug. 22 President Donald Trump hinted at a possible pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A few days later, he confirmed he would pardon the former sheriff via a tweet.
“Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” Trump asked at the Aug. 22 rally. Then he assured listeners: “he’s gonna be just fine.”
Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt in July after he ignored an order to quit arresting suspected illegal immigrants. His tough policy of cracking down on illegals in his jurisdiction made him well-known and disliked among many people throughout the state which is home to a large population of undocumented immigrants.
During a Fox interview on Aug. 13, the president said that he was “seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio.”
The former sheriff supported Trump throughout his presidential campaign and even spoke at the Republican National Convention, his hardline rhetoric has also helped to set the stage for Trumps plan to build a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico. Although Arpaio lost the 2016 election to Paul Penzone, he maintained his support for the Trump and has not steered clear of public attention.
But not everyone responded favorably to the news of Arpaio’s pardon. Out of twenty Glendale Community College students The Voice spoke with in an informal, non-scientific poll, only three supported the idea of a pardon. Freshman Destiny Wilson said “I’m not politically biased but I think it undermines the justice system.” Many students expressed their distaste for Sheriff Joe’s policies of racial profiling and felt that the president may be letting his relationship with Arpaio steer his decision. Sophomore Chloe Gamblin said that the possible six-month sentence Arpaio is facing “isn’t severe enough to be pardoned.”