Four Californians Among 33 People Granted Pardon!

Four Californians Among 33 People Granted Pardon!
Posted by FoM on January 04, 1999 at 12:47:51 PT

 LOS ANGELES Four Californians convicted of crimes including income tax evasion, marijuana and counterfeit cash possession, and pot cultivation were among the 33 Americans granted a pardon by President Clinton. 
``I feel vindicated,'' Robert Radke said last week when hearing the good news. ``Being 82 years old and retired, I have no intention or any need or want to make much of anything out of it. This is for me.'' Radke of Van Nuys was an attorney by trade when he was convicted of attempting to evade income taxes and sentenced in 1981 to 1,000 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine. Convinced he had been wronged, Radke was determined to clear his name. He put in his bid for a presidential pardon more than a decade ago. Three other Californians receiving pardons included: --Haig Ardash Arakelian, a San Diego County man convicted in 1975 of marijuana possession as a teen-ager. --Darrin Paul Sobin, who now lives in Washington, D.C., sentenced a decade ago in Sacramento County for conspiracy to cultivate pot. --Vincent Anthony Burgio, a 64-year-old retired masonry contractor from Canoga Park, convicted of possessing counterfeit cash in the early 1970s. ``It was a very nice Christmas present,'' said Burgio, who served three years probation. ``I'm happy that I received it. Now, let's go on with life.'' Nationwide, President Clinton also pardoned a car thief, a Korean War veteran who went AWOL and a variety of people nabbed for drug crimes. More than 200 people apply for pardons each year. Justice Department officials say only about one in 10 is successful. ``It is basically an act of forgiveness,'' said Chris Watney, a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman. ``It does not wipe your record clean, but it does restore certain rights.'' Applicants must wait five years after their conviction before submitting a pardon request. They must serve their sentence, show that their crimes are behind them and prove they have become a productive member of society. Then they face long applications and FBI interviews. Radke had started in law as a prosecutor, been married for 57 years, lived in the same house for decades. He considered himself a solid citizen, not the tax cheat the IRS said he was. Though typically applicants must show remorse for their crimes, Radke felt he was bulldozed by the IRS and wanted a pardon to prove he had done no wrong. Radke says the IRS case against him boiled down to a disagreement over how much he owed. ``They did their computing wrong and I protested,'' he said. ``But you don't often win with them, especially in those days.'' His penance performed, he continued with his law career before retiring. Whatever the facts of the case, Radke says today, ``I worked my way out of it.'' 
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Comment #1 posted by M. Gonyea on October 22, 1999 at 16:42:47 PT:
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Hi, I am a student interested in writing a paper about the Korean War veteran pardoned by President Clinton. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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