doc's blog

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

David Lane Woolsey, and the pardoning of Heritage Crimes

Ok, So I don't blog any more, no time. But this intrigued me deeply so I got to digging, and wanted to share.

In a press release from the DOJ, Bush announced a pardon for David Lane Woolsey of St. George Utah. He violated the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, served 3 years of probation and 100 hours of community service in 1992.

This led me to wonder, of all the people with unjust convictions why would Bush single out this guy to be one of 19? What did he do? Why would Bush choose to pardon someone who committed a Heritage related crime? With such minor consequences, why pardon?

Anyone who knows something about this situation, or has thoughts on the pardoning, please comment.

After a lot of difficult searching, I found this article in the Salt Lake Tribune that describes Woosley's crimes, but gives little reason for a Presidential Pardon. It states:

The Utah man pardoned is David Lane Woolsey, now of St. George. In 1992, Woolsey and co-defendant Jim Barney, both then of Escalante, received the first felony convictions in Utah under the 1979 U.S. Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

A call to a listing for Woolsey was not immediately returned.

The U.S. Attorney's office featured Woolsey's prosecution at a news conference in August 1992, hoping to draw attention to the destruction of sensitive historical digs in Utah by amateurs and professional excavators working for the black market.

Woolsey, a chip-truck driver, and Jim Barney, a lumber-mill worker, were digging with a shovel and a hoe in 3-foot-deep holes on May 25, 1991, when six Salt Lake City hikers happened on them, prosecutors said.

The hikers, suspicious of the excavating, continued on their trail and discovered the men's ATVs. They photographed the vehicles' registrations. From there, federal agents tracked down the men.

The government confiscated two pickup trucks and two all-terrain vehicles the pair used to get to the archaeological site near Boulder Creek.

Woolsey, then 25, and Barney, then 32, entered guilty pleas to aiding and abetting a violation of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act in August 1992.

In October 1992, U. S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene placed them on probation and ordered them to perform 100 hours of community service.

There was no fine or restitution ordered for the $6,650 damage that prosecutors say was done at the site.

The judge noted that a search warrant executed at the home of one of the men yielded little in the way of illegally dug remnants.

"There was no evidence of repeated acts over a period of time,'' Judge Greene said. "There was evidence that the damage that was done was not done entirely by these defendants.''

Jordan acknowledged: "I would not characterize these defendants as hardened criminals.''


Incidentally, there is another Woosley, a Tammy Woosley, who has also been convicted of looting and served time for it. I do not know if they are related in any way.


Blogger er3733 said...

Utah man says pardon unexpected

"Woolsey, who works on an oil rig in Wyoming, says he feels great about the pardon but didn't expect it. He says he filled out a pardon application on the Internet more than two years ago."

11:40 AM, December 26, 2008  

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