Hearst, Hammer Pardons Unlikely, Officials Say
With only days remaining in the Reagan Administration, the President and his aides indicated Wednesday it is unlikely he will pardon publishing heiress Patricia Hearst Shaw and industrialist Dr. Armand Hammer.
Reagan, during a photography session, said the Shaw request for a pardon “hasn’t come to my desk yet.” And an Administration official who requested anonymity, said reporters should “not expect anything too extraordinary here in the form of pardons.”
The official said that includes Hammer, Shaw and several other well-known people who are seeking pardons.
As the Administration winds down, speculation continues on whether Reagan will pardon several people, including Shaw, Hammer and former national security aide Oliver L. North. Reagan has said he does not intend to pardon North, who faces prosecution for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, preferring to allow the justice system to run its course.
One Administration official assured reporters that “there won’t be any pardons put out in the middle of the night.”
Shaw, who was convicted of a 1974 San Francisco bank robbery, has claimed that she was brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a group of revolutionaries who kidnaped her in Berkeley two months before the robbery. At the time she was known as Patty Hearst. She later married her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw.
Former President Jimmy Carter commuted Hearst’s sentence in 1979, after she had served about 23 months of a seven-year sentence, and Reagan spoke sympathetically of her before becoming President.
Hammer was sentenced to one year’s probation and fined $3,000 in 1976 after plea-bargaining on charges of illegally making and concealing $54,000 in contributions to Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 reelection campaign.