Southern Religion

Huckabee pardons himself re Washington

He was one of many. Some with catastrophic consequences. Maurice Clemmons, named a “person of interest” in the murder of four police officers in Washington state coffeehouse Sunday morning, was granted clemency from what amounted to a life sentence by then Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. He was subsequently paroled.

Huckabee, whose presidential possibilities are sliding toward past tense, had HuckPAC issue an exculpatory statement.

The blame-shifting takeaway is:

He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state.


Huckabee’s refusal to accept responsibility for the consequences of his own actions, and blame-shifting, are old news to prosecutors who were present during his era of Arkansas gubernatorial pardons. Literally. Garrick Feldman of the Arkansas Leader wrote in June of 2004:

Until now, Huckabee has refused to comment on his controversial policy of making violent prisoners eligible for parole– they include murderers, armed robbers and rapists, who often return to a life of crime after they’re freed – but in a statement to The Leader this week, he lashed out at prosecutors for not doing more to keep prisoners behind bars – to which Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley had this response: “That’s a load of baloney.”

“I’m offended as a prosecutor and as a citizen. He can blame the prosecutors, but ultimately he’s the man responsible,” Jegley says. “He’s the only one who can sign on the dotted line.

“All he has to do is look in the mirror and say, ‘I let (convicted rapist) Wayne DuMond go free who then killed at least once and probably twice.’”

Jegley says the governor ignores the will of the people when he reduces a life sentence without parole that was handed down by a jury.

“He has obviously disregarded the jury’s decision. It’s a crying shame that a sitting governor would be so insensitive to victims’ right and disregard the system,” says Jegley, who points to several clemency cases where felons went free and then committed more crimes.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley

Larry Jegley

In addition, Jegley, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld and others have accused Huckabee of violating the state Constitution when he commutes sentences without explanation. The Constitution requires the governor to give reasons why he grants clemency to criminals.

“He doesn’t do it,” insists Herzfeld, who recently had a clemency overturned because Huckabee did not explain why he commuted a murderer’s life sentence.

Here is Huckabee’s response to critics:

“Have Robert Herzfeld, Larry Jegley and the other prosecuting attorneys prosecuted every crime to the full extent the law allows? In other words, have they in every case pursued the maximum penalties? Did they ever plea bargain? How often? What’s the percentage of cases in which they’ve accepted less than the maximum penalties allowed by law?

“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Jegley said to the Seattle Times this Sunday, when told Clemmons was a suspect in the quadruple murder.

Jegley’s statement has a back to the future quality for those who have followed Huckabee’s clemencies/pardons history from the days when it was well-documented by The Arkansas Leader.

Huckabee issued more commutations and pardons than all of the six neighboring states combined. He apparently gave little real consideration to his actions, or so one might generously infer from his decision to pardon the likes of Glen Green. Garrick Feldman of the Arkansas Leader wrote:

But if he read the confession and still considers Green deserving of parole, he’s certainly unfit to hold office. Who would free a madman who beat an 18-year-old woman with Chinese martial-arts sticks, raped her as she barely clung to life, ran over her with his car, then dumped her in the bayou, her hand reaching up, as if begging for mercy?

Such lack of care is perhaps not a quality reasonable people seek in a president.


Clemmons was part of a pattern of negligence: Court papers reveal a propensity for violence that was apparently not considered at parole time.

Clemmons was fatally shot by Seattle, Washington, police while being taken into custody Tuesday in connection with the Sunday slaying of four Lakewood, Washington, police officers.

Huckabee blistered for passing the buck by Joel Connelly of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


November 30, 2009 - Posted by | Politics, SBC | , , , , , ,


  1. […] cop killer case doesn't end Mike Huckabee's political career once and for all, there is no justice. Here's a GREAT blog post that rounds up Huck's horrible record on pardons. Follow all the lengths within […]

    Pingback by The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Huck Fin-ished | November 30, 2009

  2. This is worse than Willie Horton.

    Comment by Virginia Plain | December 1, 2009

  3. And on Monday night, Bill O’Reilly had Mike Huckabee, his fellow Fox employee, on to explain his [lack of] culpability in the Clemmons commutation. Following Huckabee’s blame-shifting explanation, good ol’ Bill (“I want to be fair to Obama”) O’Reilly congratulated Huckabee for being a “stand-up guy” for having come on the show and joining with Bill in denouncing the Washington state judges for allowing Clemmons to be released on $15,000 bail–actually, $150,000, 90% of which was covered by the now-regretful bondsman. How could any viewer not feel sorry for poor ol’ Mike, an innocent guy who’s been tarnished by guilt-with-association?

    Comment by James Loftus | December 1, 2009

  4. […] Exit laughing: O’Reilly pardons Huckabee Don’t laugh. Bill O’Reilly has had an epiphany and pardoned former Arkansas governor and fellow Fox commentator Mike Huckabee, absolving the Huckster of all blame regarding Maurice Clemmons. […]

    Pingback by Exit laughing: O’Reilly pardons Huckabee « Southern One | December 1, 2009

  5. […] Huckabee’s Dangerous Pardons […]

    Pingback by Headlines Exposed 12.2.2009 — | December 2, 2009

  6. […] Huckabee’s Dangerous Pardons […]

    Pingback by Huckabee (R) Is To Blame For Letting Cop Killer Free — | December 2, 2009

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: