Friday, December 4, 2009

Huckabee in His Own (Weaselly) Words, Redux

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I can’t say that Mike Huckabee reads Proof Positive or Say Anything, but when I heard Tuesday morning’s Huckabee Report, it sounded strangely familiar! I was finally able to get a copy tonight. I’ll give my advice (from Monday) followed by Huckabee’s statement


Proof:
How about a simple declarative sentence, Mr. Huckabee: "I commuted his sentence."


Huck:
I commuted his sentence to 47 years.


Proof:
Or weasel a little bit and say, "Following someone else's recommendation yada yada yada, I commuted his sentence."


Huck:
The parole board recommended five to zero that the 108 year sentence of Maurice Clemmons be commuted due to the fact that he was 16 at the time of the crimes and the sentences were excessive for the crimes he had committed. After review and the legally required 30 day public notice, I commuted his sentence to 47 years.


Proof:
If it was the right thing to do at the time, he should man up, say "I did it, and here's the reason why".



Huck:
My decision to commute his sentence was based on what was before me nine years ago, not what he would ultimately do. I take full responsibility for my decision, and based on the evidence before me, believed it was right.


Looks like Huck (or Proof) is three for three! I’m glad he finally came clean, at least as far as he did, but I would have had more respect for him and his judgment had this been his initial response.

Here’s his Huckabee Report from Tuesday December 1st.

Nine years ago, a clemency request came across my desk. It was one of the thousand to twelve hundred that came each of ten and a half years that I was governor. The parole board recommended five to zero that the 108 year sentence of Maurice Clemmons be commuted due to the fact that he was 16 at the time of the crimes and the sentences were excessive for the crimes he had committed. After review and the legally required 30 day public notice, I commuted his sentence to 47 years. Despite news accounts to the contrary, the only record of public response was support letters from trial judge and friends and family.

The commutation made Clemmons eligible for parole, but he still had to convince the parole board to a supervised release, which he obtained later that year. A parole violation sent him back to prison where he would have stayed. The prosecutors failed to file charges in a timely manner and they had to drop the charges which released him. Nine years and an unforeseen crime spree later, four valiant police officers in Washington State are dead.

My decision to commute his sentence was based on what was before me nine years ago, not what he would ultimately do. I take full responsibility for my decision, and based on the evidence before me, believed it was right. It’s much easier to comment on the news as I do now, than it ever was to make the decisions that make the news. The horrors for the families of the slain police officers will not end. Nothing anyone can say is adequate. Nothing. The justice system doesn’t always work perfectly .The people responsible sometimes fail. In this case, we surely did.


Cross posted at Say Anything

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