That this guy was running around the country because the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate made him eligible for parole in 2000 is bad enough. That this is the second time people ended up dead because of Huckabee's lenient ways is immeasurably worse.
And someone in the national Republican Party needs to formally apologize to Michael Dukakis, whose Willie Horton moment was pure Amateur Night compared to Republican Huckabee's reign of error in Arkansas.
BECAUSE YOU can't make this stuff up, The Associated Press takes the story from here:
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee had a hand pardoning or commuting many more prisoners than his three immediate predecessors combined. Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in Sunday's slaying of four Seattle-area police officers, was among them.IT USED TO BE that when someone screwed up badly enough, they'd publicly repent of their sins, put on sackcloth garments and cover themselves in ashes as a sign of penance.
For a politician considering another run for the White House, Clemmons could become Huckabee's Willie Horton.
"In a primary between a law-and-order Republican and him, I think it could definitely be a vulnerability," said Art English, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. "It is very damaging when you have someone like that whose sentence was commuted. That's pretty high profile and very devastating and very tragic."
English said it's hard to avoid comparing the case to Horton, a convicted killer who raped a woman and assaulted her fiance while on release as part of a prison furlough program supported by Michael Dukakis when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Allies of former President George H.W. Bush ran ads criticizing Dukakis for his support of the program, undermining the Democrat's presidential campaign.
Huckabee's role in gaining the release of a convicted rapist, Wayne DuMond, was the subject of an attack ad during his presidential run. While Huckabee's predecessor, Tucker, reduced DuMond's sentence making him eligible for parole, Huckabee took steps almost immediately after taking office to win DuMond's release.
Two members of the state parole board said Huckabee pressured them to show DuMond mercy, while Huckabee publicly questioned whether DuMond was guilty of the rape of a teenage girl. During the presidential primaries, a conservative group aired television commercials in South Carolina featuring the mother of Carol Sue Shields, whom DuMond killed in 2000 after his release.
Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, whose office opposed Clemmons' parole in 2000 and 2004, said Huckabee created a flaw in the Arkansas justice system by freeing the number of prisoners he did.
"(Clemmons) should have stayed locked up like the jury wanted him and we wouldn't even be having this discussion," Jegley said.
"I just have been figuratively holding my breath and hoping something like this wouldn't happen," Jegley said. "I just think that a lot of the people that were subjects of clemency during that period of time were some very dangerous people who didn't need to be let out."
It is no credit to our "advanced" society that messing up big time now -- at least for certain privileged castes -- is just a ticket to a big buyout . . . or a cable-TV talk show.
SPLINTER. PLANK. EYE . . . Rev. Huckabee.