Lacey and Larkin recounts struggle with Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Presidential pardons are allowed for by law in the United States. The president can pardon whoever they feel like since there are no guidelines on who can be pardoned. In many cases, such pardons are used for political gains. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter

There have been numerous presidential pardons which have elicited varied opinions from the people since they are unusual or people being pardoned had committed crimes which are considered inhumane.

The current generation of American might not have known what it means to have a controversial presidential pardon if Donald Trump was not elected the president of the United States.

Less than a year in office, President Trump gave a presidential pardon to a notorious man- the former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona known as Joe Arpaio. Known as America’s Toughest Sheriff, Arpaio was a rogue officer who was behind mistreatment of immigrants in his county and the arrest of media owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Lacey and Larkin owned Village Voice Media and the Phoenix New Times.

Joe Arpaio has a long history of mistreatment of immigrants in his county. He was elected sheriff in 1992 and served for 24 years until when he failed to defend his seat in the last elections. For two decades, he made the lives of the immigrants unbearable by promoting action against them that not only led to the violations of their human rights but ensured that even bodily harm was caused to them.

The suffering that the immigrants in Maricopa went through in the hands of Arpaio was so bad that they could not believe the president saw nothing wrong with it before giving a pardon.

In October 2007, under cover of darkness, officers sent by Joe Arpaio were at the homes of Lacey and Larkin. The two journalists lived in Phoenix Arizona. On a fateful night, they were arrested and placed in jail overnight for charges of disclosing the contents of a grand jury investigation. The jury had given Arpaio powers to search the Phoenix New Times including editors and writers.

Arpaio was against this move and recommended that the two be charged. The charges, however, did not make to courts since the two were released the following day after public pressure piled on the office of the sheriff to stop the victimization of the freedom of the media.

Lacey and Larkin used the paper to publish stories about the actions of the sheriff. Arpaio was offended by the two since they concentrated too much on the enforcement tactics which he was using in fighting immigration to the United States. In a number of publications, Larkin and Lacey had concentrated on the crimes which were going on in the Tent City, an infamous concentration camp where immigrants would be placed before deportation.

The actions of Joe Arpaio were presented before a court of law in 2011, where he was accused of perpetrating human rights violations by illegally arresting and harassing immigrants.

The judge warned Arpaio about arresting people based on suspicion as he was doing. Many people who were arrested were not even illegal immigrants but people suspected of being so.