Huckabee Clemency

November 30, 2009 by USA Post 

The Seattle Times reports that the man suspected of shooting four police officers in Washington State was granted clemency in Arkansas nine years ago by then-Governor Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee had reportedly pardoned the suspected shooter, Maurice Clemmons, because he was just 17 when his original crimes were committed. (Clemmons was still on parole, and should apparently have been sent back to jail in Arkansas more recently.) But it’s a tragic, and politically damaging story of the kind that, with the name Willie Horton attached, helped derail Mike Dukakis’s bid for the White House.

And the story also recalls another act of clemency gone awry: Huckabee advocated for parole for a convicted rapist who — his allies said — had been railroaded by Huckabee predecessor Bill Clinton. The rapist, Wayne DuMond, was released; he raped and murdered another woman.

Mitt Romney made the DuMond story a centerpiece of his campaign against Huckabee in Iowa in 2007.

CBS has a good account of the story.

UPDATE: Huckabee granted Clemmons clemency — which required the parole board to approve his release — rather than a straight-up pardon.

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