Senator David Norris is not the first politician to plead leniency in the case of a convicted offender.
His presidential bid has been severely damaged by the revelation that he wrote a letter on government headed paper, in defense of a former Israeli boyfriend, who was convicted of the rape of a 15-year-old boy.
In 2002, Junior Minister Bobby Molloy of the now dissolved Progressive Democrat party resigned after he tried to influence the case of rapist Patrick Naughton. The then Galway West TD made representations on behalf of the accused to the presiding judge on the case. Mr Justice O'Sullivan described it as a "totally improper approach".
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The current Fine Gael presidential candidate Gay Mitchell made political representations on behalf of a man on death row in the U.S. In 2003 Mitchell called on the serving Florida governor Jeb Bush to spare the life of Paul Hill, received the death penalty as a result of a double murder of a doctor and his bodyguard, who performed abortions. Hill was later executed by lethal injection.
Someone from the office of the former Fianna Fail minister Tony Killeen sought the early release of child rapist Joseph Nugent in 2007.
Labour TD, Kathleen Lynch wrote a letter testifying to the good character of rapist Trevor Casey, which was given to the trial judge. She later apologized to his victims and admitted it as inappropriate for a TD to get involved in such a matter.
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