LA Times Weighs In On Clemmons’ Clemency

The LA Times ed board has come out in support of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s decision to grant Maurice Clemmons clemency back in 2000:

According to many pundits, the four police officers shot to death Sunday in Parkland, Wash., aren’t the only victims of alleged killer Maurice Clemmons. Also wounded in the attack, perhaps fatally, was Mike Huckabee’s political career.

Huckabee, a presidential candidate last year who was considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2012, is one of the reasons Clemmons was on the street Sunday. While governor of Arkansas in 2000, Huckabee commuted Clemmons’ 108-year sentence. That has prompted comparisons to Willie Horton, a convicted Massachusetts killer who escaped while participating in a weekend furlough program that had been championed by then-Gov. Michael Dukakis, later committing rape and assault. Dukakis’ opponent in the 1988 presidential race, George H.W. Bush, missed few opportunities to invoke Horton’s name.

It would be a shame if that happened to Huckabee. He made some questionable decisions about clemency for inmates during his term as governor, in some cases ignoring the objections of legal experts. But in Clemmons’ case, he seems to have had legitimate grounds for concern about whether justice was being served.

The rest is here.