The phrase “Indian-Giving” goes back to the days when the U.S. Government was giving land to the Native Americans, and then taking it away when they found fit to do so. The Indians were moved into reservations, then moved again, and so began this hurtful phrase that is still used today. One great example of this, deals with the freedom of Matthew Makowski. He was convicted of first-degree murder, after setting up a robbery that later went bad and resulted in the murder of another man. Matthew was not present for the murder, did not do it himself, but because of his connection (setting the robbery up), was charged with the same offense as the one who had committed it. Sounds like a bad deal, right?
Well, imagine this – the Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, granted him a commute of sentence that would have given him his freedom after twenty years in jail. Then, after scrutiny from the victims family, rescinded this offer after it had been signed. Makowski’s hopes were dashed. The man had only had two infractions in his entire time in the system. Never before had the issue of a Governor’s ability to pardon or commute sentences been so widely debated. Because it was signed, many people feel that his freedom is his own, including George Levin, a former State Supreme Court Justice.
The State’s Attorney’s office is defending the Governor’s right to rescind, saying that without delivery the deal was never there to begin with. “Truly from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry, you know, for all the things that I did. I can never make any excuse or justifications for it” said Makowski at his last parole meeting. Now, it is a matter of the courts to decide whether Indian-Giving freedom is acceptable.
Terry is an active blogger and can be found at JusticeMaybeBlind.com.