In light of the news that the suspect wanted in the Lakewood, WA ambush – which left four police officers dead – was granted clemency upon a time by then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, can he effectively kiss any 2012 presidential hopes he may have had goodbye? Bloomberg takes a look at the potential political fallout for Huck:
Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) — The political future of former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee could be damaged by his role in commuting the sentence of the gunman suspected of killing four police officers in Washington state.
Huckabee, as governor of Arkansas in 2000, commuted a 95- year prison sentence for Maurice Clemmons. Huckabee cited Clemmons’ youth – he was 17 when he was convicted in 1989 of aggravated robbery – in commuting the sentence, the Associated Press reported. Clemmons was then paroled.
“If you pardon someone and they do something, it’s bad news,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist. “It can come back to haunt you.”
Huckabee, in a statement on his Web site, said that if Clemmons is found to be responsible for the shooting, “it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system.”
Huckabee, who lost the Republican presidential nomination last year to John McCain, was criticized during the campaign for the number of clemencies granted to prisoners while he was governor.
According to an AP analysis at the time, Huckabee granted 1,033 clemencies during 10 years in office, more than double the number granted by three governors during the previous 17 years.
During the presidential campaign, Huckabee denied pressuring a state parole board to release a convicted rapist who later raped again and committed murder.
Even before this story broke, I didn’t think Huck would have much of a chance of making it beyond the primaries in 2012 – his ambitions as of this point on the subject are unclear – but I think the news of his granting clemency to Clemmons, which some are calling his “Willie Horton moment,” pretty much seals the deal.
Michelle Malkin has the latest updates on this developing story.
Please remember to keep the families of the victims in your thoughts and prayers.