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PostCan the Spanish PM Grant a Pardon to the Catalonian Separatists? (Bàrbara Molas, Canada, 10/15/19 4:50 am)
On John Eipper's question concerning Spanish law and pardons (14 October):
The Spanish government has the power to grant pardons, but only if the convicted asks for one. More specifically, a pardon involves formally showing repentance. For now, several of the convicted separatists already said before the verdict that they would not ask for a pardon.
JE comments: A hypothetical question: would you rather spend 12 years in prison or show "repentance"? I'll take the apology option (can't run WAIS or feed my cats from The Joint), but it's different for politicians at the head of a struggle. Who doesn't want to become the "Nelson Mandela of..."?
WAIS strives to present every side of an issue. So here's another question: if you were Pedro Sánchez, how would you deal with this crisis? The two extreme options are political suicide: "occupation" of Catalonia on the one hand, full amnesty for the separatists on the other--especially if the latter involves the dissolution of Spain. Is there a way to quietly release the prisoners if they promise to cooperate, and grant Catalonia even more autonomy?
Sánchez and Boris Johnson should meet soon for a pint or a fino. They'll have lots to commiserate about.