Ever since Maurice Clemmons fatally shot four Lakewood police officers—nine years after he was pardoned by Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and released from prison—governors have apparently been reluctant to grant clemency.
[Gov.] Gregoire, already stringent with her powers of pardon and commutation, had not granted clemency since the shooting of four Lakewood police officers triggered a nationwide political backlash against such acts of mercy. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had let Clemmons out of prison with a commutation in 2000.
Gregoire’s previous act of clemency occurred in October, a month before the Clemmons’ rampage.
Meanwhile, Gregoire’s five-member Clemency and Pardons Board continues vetting and sending her recommendations. Gregoire still has on her desk a backlog of 14 other petitions with unanimous backing from the board.