Republic reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Michael Kiefer talk to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his home the night of his pardoning by President Donald Trump. Patrick Breen/azcentral.com
Federal prosecutors who won a criminal-contempt conviction against former Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday that conviction should be tossed following the “Full and Unconditional Pardon” issued by President Donald J. Trump.
In a federal court filing, Department of Justice prosecutors agreed with their onetime adversaries — Arpaio’s defense attorneys, who asked U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to vacate the verdict.
“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 response stated. “Accordingly, the government agrees that the Court should vacate all orders and dismiss the case as moot.”
Last month, Trump granted the first pardon of his presidency to Arpaio, a political ally who was found guilty of flouting a federal judge’s orders in a racial-profiling case.
Bolton, who presided over Arpaio’s bench trial, canceled the Oct. 5 sentencing but stopped short of dismissing the case. She instead asked both defense attorneys and Department of Justice prosecutors to file briefs on why she should or shouldn’t grant Arpaio’s request to vacate the conviction.
Arpaio’s guilty verdict stems from a 2011 federal judge’s order to stop detaining people solely on the basis of their immigration status. Arpaio’s deputies, though, continued to do so for 17 months and illegally detained at least 171 people.
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