But this particular nationally syndicated show was not the only one to misrepresent the facts of Huckabee's history. Prominent bloggers, names everyone would know, got into the action this week. Either they were negligent in speaking with the Governor directly, checking the facts of the record, or, like the sore-loser radio host, had an axe to grind.
As a result, I feel it has fallen to me to re-state the truth--the record as it exists--on the matter.
1. Huckabee offered no "pardon" to Maurice Clemmons.
For the crimes of theft and burglary, Maurice Clemmons at the age of 16 was sentenced to 108 years. In all likelihood, had the same crimes been committed by a white youth from a middle class family, he would've received 20 years and been out on probation in under ten. What Governor Huckabee did do was reduce the 108 years to a sentence of 47 years. Shortly thereafter--not simultaneously--Clemmons met the qualifications for parole, and the parole board allowed him to go free, but kept him on probation.
2. Huckabee was not an activist in the Clemmons parole.
Some have claimed that Huckabee sought and pressured the parole board to intercede in the Clemmons case. This is blatantly false. The truth is that the parole board requested the Governor to consider the sentence reduction, as did the presiding judge. Governor Huckabee sought the input from the Attorney General and the prosecutors in the case. Both declined to weigh in. The judge and parole board were both unanimous in the decision to grant parole.
3. Huckabee had nothing to do with Clemmons release.
Following the short period of time that Clemmons had been paroled, he violated his parole by committing another minor offense. As is the case in all probation issues, that violation brought him back to prison to serve time for his crimes. Once back in prison, the Governor ceased to play any role. His sentence was back in effect. Prosecutorial malfeasance and a judge's lack of action caused Clemmons' second release from the Arkansas prison system.
If Governor Huckabee's sentence reduction allowed Clemmons any opportunity to do crime it was to violate his parole. Once violated however, Clemmons was back into the digestive track of the Arkansas justice system.
The major scandal here is why none of the supporters of the candidate who finished third in the 2004 primaries have not focused one ounce of attention on the two judges that allowed Clemmons to go free following the rape of a child, who was a female relative, some nine years after the Arkansas prosecutors dropped the ball.
Huckabee was in essence reducing a sentence for petty theft from 108 to 47 years for a black kid. White kids would've gotten far more preferential treatment in the courts.
The judges in Washington State were attempting to make a statement of belligerence to the world at large about how liberal their court systems are.
Huckabee had no way of knowing that Clemmons would leave the world of minor crime, live in another state for 6 years as a model citizen, and then become a violent sexual offender of family members.
The judges in Washington State had all of Clemmons' history to judge in making their decision. That history included eight felony arrests in the last three years in Washington State.
Kudos to Governor Huckabee for staying out of the politics of such a painful experience for the victim's families. His attempt to see justice achieved "blind of color" during his time as Governor came from a worldview that underpins the same value system that gives him the self control to not take the current discussion beyond what it should at present.
It is this class, this decency of human behavior, and this ability to understand that the world isn't all about him that will not remove him from consideration for the Presidency in 2012.
And his honest and genuine humility is something that we could all learn lessons from.
Especially mono-syllabic radio hosts and bloggers with obsessed with visions of bullets in their opponents' heads.
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