At least in Clemmons' case, I think Huckabee was justified in commuting his sentence. Clemmons was sentenced to 100 years for crimes he committed between the ages of 16 and 18 that weren't murder or rape.

The issue in this case was the bureaucratic malpractice of waiving Clemmons' warrant. It shouldn't have happened. But it's easy to ignore this because Huckabee is an easy big face to put on this case.

I'm not a Huckabee supporter, but if this was a Democratic governor, I cannot believe that these same memes would exist, at least not on this blog. If this was a Democratic governor, we'd be defending the concept of commuting sentences and granting clemency for those who were young or under severe penalty for crimes that didn't warrant such.
Folks will think you're being mean, that you're piling on.

Until Romney and Palin get ahold of this.
I always thought liberals were traditionally pro-clemency. (With the conservatives being traditionally pro-death penalty and keeping people locked up) It's funny how, since Bush, the left has devolved into a group of people the do the opposite of whatever the Republican/Fox News support, and the right has similarly devolved into a group of people that do the opposite of whatever the Democrats/liberals support with no regard for the real issues at hand. How else can you explain how some Republicans support a horrible person like Palin other than that she really irks the left?

Seems like, nowadays, people are taking sides for the sake of taking sides.
Exactly. If this was instead a Democratic governor, I would almost guarantee that both sides would be switched on this debate. O'Reilly would be blaming the hell out of the Democratic governor and the left would be making up excuses to defend the clemency. 4 people died and all we can do is turn it into another Republican v Democratic debate.
I think citing your new-found belief in Jesus should be enough evidence to keep you from ever getting clemency. It shows you're not in touch with reality.
@1, thanks, too many people want to turn everything into Red vs. Blue no matter what. Frankly, it turns my stomach when the conservatives do it and it turns my stomach when the liberals do it.

There is a time and place for it and this is one area that neither side gets the upper hand.
@5 or completely manipulative.
@1: I don't think the issue here is that people think that what Huckabee did is wrong, so much as they know that Republican primary voters won't stand for it, especially after his hypothetical primary opponents hammered him on it.

Along similar lines, if tomorrow Newt Gingrich declared himself to be a gay atheist, I wouldn't care or judge him for it, but we would still certainly talk about how it would bury him in Republican primaries.
@3, the Dems are applying the same standards that were applied to Dukakis and effectively destroyed his campaign.
(Tacking on to the above...)

Alternately, I think most of the posters here don't have a problem with granting someone clemency to reduce an unreasonably large or unwarranted sentence, but they do have a problem with granting someone clemency basically because they espouse the same religion as you do.

Same action, different motivations.
Yes, Clemmons was sentenced for 100 years. For these offenses:

* Sentenced to 5 years for robbery in Pulaski County, Aug. 3, 1989.

* Sentenced to 8 years for burglary, theft and probation revocation in Pulaski County, Sept. 9, 1989

* Sentenced to an indeterminate amount for aggravated robbery and theft in Pulaski County, Nov. 15, 1989

* Sentenced to 20 years each for burglary and theft of property in Pulaski County, Feb. 23, 1990.

* Sentenced to 6 years for firearm possession in Pulaski County, Nov. 19, 1990.

He also did not have a clean history while incarcerated. Juvenile justice is obviously screwed up, and non-violent offenders are probably good choices for parole. Clemmons was obviously a violent person, no matter how much he and the preacher told Huckabee he loved Jesus. And Huckabee did not actually release him, but applied pressure so he would be released.
@10 I think that the second quote in this post was poorly interpreted. I think it's more important that Huckabee pardoned supporters, not that they were Baptists or preachers. It makes sense, however, that his supporters would be Baptist and preachers as he is himself. Not really favoritism to me.
What @8 said.
As for myself, I think the ability that governors have to grant pardons, clemency etc is a valuable check-and-balance to the most draconian powers of government -- the power to imprison and execute. I'm willing to accept the slightly higher level of risk I might incur as a consequence of a governor's occasionally screwing it up. Whatever you might think is wrong with our country, it's hard to argue our problem that we imprison too _low_ a fraction of our population.
OK, if Huckabee used this predominantly to reward people for mouthing the right pieties, well that kind of sucks, and he should get pilloried for it.
But he's against a woman's right to choose. Who cares if he's incompetent. It never mattered with any of the other's like Bush or Palin as long as they were anti-choice.
@11: "* Sentenced to an indeterminate amount for aggravated robbery and theft in Pulaski County, Nov. 15, 1989"

Where the hell is this coming from?
if Huckabee used this predominantly to reward people for mouthing the right pieties, well that kind of sucks

It "kind of" sucks? It's a violation of the separation between church and state. Know what happens to atheists who reform themselves in prison, or people who find Allah? Absolutely nothing. They rarely get released for reforming themselves. If anything, finding Islam is a liability. Huckabee (among many others) is a bigoted piece of shit.
And it's worth bringing up Wayne Dumond. One factor in Huckabee advocating his release was Dumond's self-castration. Huckabee is enough of a pig-ignorant moron to think that castrated men can't rape (or murder).
@16 - they do that in many Muslim states - if you can memorize the Koran, they let you off after you kill your wife with a shovel.
It's not piling on or taking sides to point out that it was Huckabee who made it possible for Clemmons to be walking the streets. It'll be piling on when the other Republican Presidential contenders use this, and other clemency-gone-bad cases of his to torpedo his Presidential hopes, just as Roger Ailes and his ilk did with Willie Horton/Michael Dukakis.

I don't blame Pass the Buck Huck for extending clemency. I don't blame him for the cops' deaths. I do blame him for trying to pass the buck and claim it's somehow the fault of the Washington state justice system.

And just pointing out that Huckabilly is the one who extended clemency is not being mean to him.

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