The Clarion-Ledger, 12/5/8

If former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers gets his way, he’ll be freed from prison by outgoing President George Bush.

The 67-year-old inmate is asking Bush to commute his 25-year sentence. Others seeking action from Bush before he leaves include Michael Milkin, the former junk bond king who spent two years in prison for violating securities laws and is now seeking a pardon.

Ebbers was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in March 2005 for his role in the $11 billion accounting scandal that led to the Clinton-based WorldCom’s demise. He began serving his sentence Sept. 26, 2006, at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, La. The Bureau of Prisons’ Web site lists July 4, 2028, as his projected release date.

Giving clemency to an elderly businessman like Ebbers makes more sense than doing the same for “a violent criminal convicted of the act of domestic abuse,” said Matt Steffey, a professor at Mississippi College School of Law. “There’s little chance of Mr. Ebbers reoffending.”