Mr. Huckabee, now a Fox News talk-show host, has been leading the pack of possible Republican contenders for president in 2012. But the killings of the police officers are focusing renewed attention on his long-contentious record of pardoning convicts or commuting their sentences. In a decade as governor beginning in 1996, Mr. Huckabee did so twice as many times as his three predecessors combined.... The commutation of Mr. Clemmons’s sentence was routine enough that it failed to make a list of Mr. Huckabee’s 10 “most publicized” prison commutations compiled by an Arkansas newspaper in August 2004.

It sounds like Huckabee, a Baptist preacher, showed favoritism to his co-religionists...

In most cases, he followed the recommendation of the parole board, but in several cases he overrode the objections of prosecutors, judges and victims’ families. And in several, he followed recommendations for clemency from Baptist preachers who had been longtime supporters.

And it sounds like Huckabee—despite his public persona as affable, compassionate, and good humored—is actually kind of an asshole:

Robert Herzfeld, then the prosecuting attorney of Saline County, wrote a letter to Governor Huckabee in January 2004, saying his policy on clemency was “fatally flawed” and suggesting that he should announce specific reasons for granting clemency. Mr. Huckabee’s chief aide on clemency wrote back: “The governor read your letter and laughed out loud. He wanted me to respond to you. I wish you success as you cut down on your caffeine consumption.”

Huckabee isn't laughing now.