Mike Huckabee’s Having A Dukakis Kind Of Day

I wonder if Mike Huckabee’s conscience is bothering him tonight.*

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 protests 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.

More on Huckabee’s cavalier use of his pardon power while governor can be found at Ace of Spades HQ.

While there’s no possible way to justify Huckabee’s actions and it’s tempting to place all the blame on him, it looks as though there’s plenty of of opportunity for some finger pointing here in Washington, too.

Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child.

He was released [on bail] just six days ago, even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and was staring at eight felony charges in all out of Washington state.


He was married, but the relationship was tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two confrontations with police earlier this year.

During the confrontation in May, Clemmons punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face, according to court records. As part of that incident, he was charged with seven counts of assault and malicious mischief.

In another instance, Clemmons was accused of gathering his wife and young relatives around at 3 or 4 in the morning and having them all undress. He told them that families need to “be naked for at least 5 minutes on Sunday,” a Pierce County sheriff’s report says.

It’s a crazy world if our criminal justice system can’t protect us even from people as clearly dangerous as Clemmons.

More at The Other McCain, where you’ll also find details on how to contribute to the slain officers’ memorial fund.

Via @redhk

*Update: Apparently The Huckster’s conscience was bothering him, as he was compelled to release this disingenuous statement regarding his role non-role in Clemmons’ release from prison.

He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time.

A real man might have written, “He was recommended for a commutation of his original sentence, which I granted,” not, “He was recommended for and received a commutation…” as though it was some sort of magical process over which he had no control.

It’s hard to fault a man for showing mercy but  for public officials there are limits to compassion. Huckabee should man up and accept his share of responsibility.

The Other McCain has more about what motivated Huckabee.


Filed under Pierce County, Washington

2 responses to “Mike Huckabee’s Having A Dukakis Kind Of Day

  1. Brittneyboop

    It is sad that people who obviously need to be imprisoned get let out for various reasons. Some people do not need to be among the general public. I will be interested to hear what Huckabee and the judge who set his most recent bail have to say for themselves.

  2. Brandonlk

    Although it seems very easy to jump all over Huckabee’s case, the facts don’t necessarily point to his guilt. Huckabee commuted this man’s sentence after he was found guilty of armed robbery at age 17 and served 11 years of a 48 year sentence. The commutation did not grant him freedom, it just allowed him to be eligible for parole. He went in front of the parole board and they granted him parole and he was released. They did not have to parole him. Blame the parole board for releasing him. Then the following year he committed armed robbery again and was sentenced to 10 years. Once again the parole board let him out after a few months.

    Huckabee didn’t let him out of prison, the parole board did. The real question is why did the parole board feel he should be released? Perhaps the same question should be asked of the Pierce County judge who allowed him bail.?

    Huckabee is not the one who is to blame for this man’s release. He only allowed this man to face a parole board.

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