Sunday, November 29, 2009

Man Wanted For Questioning In Cop Killings Had Been Granted Clemency By Huckabee

Updated with Huckabee react

The tragic killings of four Lakewood, Washington police officers as they worked at their computers in a coffee shop may have political ramifications for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

While as governor, Huckabee, a former and probable future candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, granted clemency to the man police say they want for questioning.

The suspect, identified by police as Maurice Clemmons, has a felony record and a history of erratic behavior.

If Clemmons ends up being charged, it won't be the first time Huckabee has faced accusations of poor judgment in releasing convicted criminals. During the 2007 GOP presidential primary campaign, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who also sought the nomination, blasted Huckabee for his pardoning of a convicted rapist who, following his release, raped and murdered another woman.

Another former Massachusetts Governor, Michael Dukakis, faced similar criticism when he was running for president as the Democratic nominee in 1988. He was blamed by his political opponents for the actions of Willie Horton, who was allowed out of a Massachusetts prison on a weekend furlough while serving a life sentence for murder. Horton never returned from his furlough and then twice raped a woman after pistol whipping her boyfriend. While Dukakis didn't order Horton's release, he was supportive of the weekend furlough program.

Huckabee now hosts a weekend show on the Fox News Channel. Huckabee now hosts a weekend show on the Fox News Channel. On his nationally syndicated morning radio commentary, Huckabee Monday said that Clemmons was eligible for, and was paroled by the state parole board.

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