Some Republicans hope Bush issues so-called "preemptive" pardons to protect some former aides, like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or C.I.A Director George Tenant.
They haven't been convicted of anything, but a pardon could protect them if they are ever charged as a result of their role in controversial policies like the domestic wiretapping program and the harsh treatment of terrorism suspects.
There is even speculation that pitching great Roger Clemens might seek a preemptive pardon, to protect him from any charges arising from baseball's steroid scandal.
George Lardner of the Center for the Study of the Presidency says the political jockeying plus the administrative backlog make it tough for most petitioners to get a fair shot at their last chance.
New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes knows that money and fame can help and he has a bit of both.
He hired an experienced attorney with strong ties to the Republican Party to handle his brother's clemency request. But even that may not be enough to get his brother out of prison before the age of 50.
Tynes knows the odds are slim and for his family, he says this is the hail Mary pass.
"If I can go to my grave knowing that I fought, and did everything I can for my brother, then I am at peace with that."