Sunday, November 29, 2009

Suspect In Washington Police Killings Had Sentence Commuted By Huckabee?

If Republican Mike Huckabee thought he had a chance of running for President in 2012, it might have gone up in flames today. You see, he was the governor of Arkansas and he made a very questionable decision to commute the sentence of a recidivist criminal.

That, by itself isn't unusual. Neither is the fact that state prosecutors vigorously objected to Huckabee commuting the sentence. That too isn't unusual, but many governors will not commute sentences when there is such objections.

Huckabee's problem is that the main suspect in the murder of four Washington State police officers, Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards, is the guy whose sentence was commuted by Huckabee over the objection of prosecutors.
Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing of four Lakewood police officers this morning, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protestations of prosecutors.

"This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County said Sunday night when informed that Clemmons was being sought in connection to the killings.

Clemmons' criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.
If you think that Wille Horton derailed Mike Dukakis' campaign efforts in 1988, then get used to the name Maurice Clemmons.

But before you think that is bad enough, Washington state has its own issues to deal with, given that Clemmons was in custody of police just days ago on a child rape charge, but somehow was allowed to post bail even as he had charges pending in Arkansas and Washington.

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