Huckabee granted clemency to suspect in killing of four Washington cops

It’s fair to say that a 2012 Republican candidate for president may have just been eliminated. This from the Seattle Times:

Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. 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 tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with 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.

Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, issued a statement tonight calling the slaying of the police officers “a horrible and tragic event.”

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41 comments Add your comment


November 30th, 2009
1:01 pm

This won’t matter to the right wing-nuts who decide who the republican party presidential (and vice-presidential) candidate will be. All they care about is whether he is against abortion or not.


November 30th, 2009
1:01 pm

Judges should be held criminally liable for letting this guy out. Five felony convictions in one state eight in another and they still grant him bail, what a joke.

Churchill's MOM

November 30th, 2009
1:11 pm

The Huckster really knows how to make good decisions.

Dr. Mary Pat Jordan

November 30th, 2009
1:19 pm

It all depends on who Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes pick at the FOX NEWS GOP Convention. I believe a Megyn Kelly/Barbara Mandrell is very likely.


November 30th, 2009
1:22 pm

Its not the judges, the Governor has clemency powers. Its the judges that gave him the 95 years. I’m interested to see how the religious portion of the right wing will spend this but he has no shot at winning office now. Aren’t the republicans suppose to be the ones that are tough on crime?


November 30th, 2009
1:24 pm

Maybe he should run as a Dem since they all think prisoners should be exonerated anyway. And, too many blacks get “unfair sentences”, per 90% of the libs out there. But since he’s a pub, I’m sure the Dems chew him up and spit him out. Oh the hypocrisy.


November 30th, 2009
1:29 pm

It’s a tragedy in Washington. For Huckabee, this has happened before, look up Wayne DuMond.


November 30th, 2009
1:32 pm

Huckabee can’t spin this away. This is worse than Willie Horton.

You Distort, We Deride

November 30th, 2009
1:41 pm

I like Huckabee. He’s wrong on many, many issues, but compared to the other rabid right wingers, he’s considerably more affable.

Kind of hard to see him ascending the Republican ladder after this, though. The article doesn’t say on what basis he granted this dude clemency. From the sounds of it, this guy was a nutbag.

Oh, well. Huckabee said yesterday how much he enjoyed his gig on FOX. I suppose he’ll continue to spin everything to the right on propaganda news for a few more decades.

Churchill's MOM

November 30th, 2009
1:45 pm

I did the search B-fan gave and found this, the Huckster should be in jail rather than on TV. What slime.


November 30th, 2009
1:47 pm

It was the cynical Republican Bush that chose to use the racially charged attack on Dukakis for releasing Willy Horton as a Campaign issue. All he did was sign what the parole board recommended he sign.

Republicans also loved the “rule of law” argument when the tried to get rid of Bill Clinton but conveniently forgot all about the law when Bush and the Bush Crime Family was destroying the Constitution and the Economy.

What a bunch of discredited hypocrites. It will take a decade to fix the mess they made.


November 30th, 2009
1:57 pm

From the AP article:
Huckabee, who was criticized during his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 for the number of clemencies and commutations he granted, cited Clemmons’ age at the time of the sentence.


November 30th, 2009
1:57 pm

a little off the subject bozo

rufus floyd

November 30th, 2009
1:59 pm

Huck has been using God too long. Can’t the republicans think of anything else but abortion and guns? They are a bunch of fools who all belong on Fox talking at the same time. Newt the pervert, Rush the junkie, Sean h. the pure dunce, and glenn the crybaby psyco.

Chris Broe

November 30th, 2009
2:04 pm

Huckabee is a very decent man and believe me, his pain must be overwhelming. He is in shock and regretting his decision. Knowing what a responsible, mature, self actualized individual he is, I feel his pain.

I’d never forgive myself if I had let that monster out. Now, there will be an investigation into the criteria Huckabee used to set this time bomb in motion.

Huckabee is a decent, honorable man. He couldn’t have anticipated this deranged act.

Could he?


November 30th, 2009
2:05 pm

If DuMond hadn’t already derailed Huckabee, I don’t see how this latest clemency brouhaha suddenly disqualifies him. There are, frankly, much better reasons to oppose Huckabee than this.

Mr. Grumpy

November 30th, 2009
2:18 pm

Boy, is it ever interesting to read these comments from adults who apparently don’t have a clue how the criminal justice system works. I’m no Republican, but does anyone really think Huckabee or the Parole Board back in Arkansas let this guy out because they thought he would go on to commit more crimes? Come on now. Let’s all get serious. Y’all want to lock these creeps up forever but don’t want to pay the taxes it would take to do that. You buy this tough-on-crime talk from Republicans and others and then get mad at them when they exercise the powers they’re mandated to exercise under law to keep the costs for prisons at a managemable level. What’s it going to be? Tough on crime or fiscal conservatism? You can’t have it both ways.


November 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

I would feel sick to my stomach if was Huckabee.


November 30th, 2009
2:32 pm

To Chris Broe,
You are correct. He couldn’t have anticipated this. That is why he was convicted by a jury of his peers. This is why the criminal justice system is set up the way it is. It is not for one man to decide. Huckabee said the criminal justice system failed in Washington and Arkansas. He is absolutely wrong! HE failed those fallen officers. He bears the responsibility of that man’s actions. He doesn’t get off that easy. Maybe in 2011, when those officers names are engraved on the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., he can stand before the families and explain why he is not to blame. Typical politician.


November 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

I’m sure Gov. Huckabee is sick to his stomach. Leaders make many decisions and not all of them turn out to be good ones. That is the price one pays for leading. What is appropiate now is prayers for the families of the deceased police officers and prayers for Gov. Huchabee and the remorse I’m sure he feels now.


November 30th, 2009
2:42 pm

George- get a life! Typical brain dead DEM.


November 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

Gee – nobody seems to remember the ACLU and another “monority” group that lobbied for his release…in Arkansas in 2000….


November 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

This blog is a case study in what is wrong with politics today. I’m not a Republican, much less a Huckabee supporter, and I’m sure that the same comments would be made by the other side if Huckabee were a democrat. All I ask is that everyone read these posts with an open mind and ask yourself, would you run for office considering how viciously and personally others will attack you in the name of partisan politics. Frankly, both parties should be ashamed of themselves and the actions of their supporters.


November 30th, 2009
2:47 pm

Typical liberal behavior: don’t blame the criminal thug murderer, it wasn’t his fault. Let’s blame the governor, and make political points on the bodies of 4 dead police officers. Absolutely shameless but expected behavior.
Here’s a prediction…as we speak, both parties are diligently searching for more examples of commuted sentences of subsequent repeat felons. Anyone want to wager on which party has pardoned more murderers?

General Sherman

November 30th, 2009
2:53 pm

People just STFU until you learn the true facts about Mike Huckabee. He made a judgement based on a young man and attempting to save him early. He failed like many of us DO!


November 30th, 2009
2:54 pm

Well, it seems to me that questions were raised during the last campaign about Huckabee’s, um, *liberal* use of clemency as governor and it was one of the reasons he didn’t get very far in the process. This just his ‘Willie Horton’ moment… but then Dems don’t mention that issue except when it suits their purposes. It’s just too bad they couldn’t save this for late in the 2012 campaign.

The only reason Huckabee is still mentioned as a a viable candidate is that there are so few Republicans with any kind of name recognition at all. That will change.


November 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

Judges – you don’t know what you are talking about here in Washington State. I live in Seattle and Clemmons hasn’t been convicted of any crimes — yet. He has been CHARGED with seven felonies prior to this mass killing. Let me remind you that this is the U.S. and they do allow bail. Why don’t you go inform yourself before you go and sound off, then you wouldn’t seem like such an ignorant right-wing wing nut-job. Before Clemmons was allowed to post bail (hey, why don’t you criticize the bail bondsman while you’re at it), he was declared competent by a forensic mental health expert even though the family reported his delusions. And why don’t you criticize Arkansas, who decided that they didn’t want to extradite that scum from Washington State when he violated his parole? It was their responsibility to come and fetch so they could throw him back into the slammer. He was never in a Washington State prison because he was never CONVICTED on Washington State crimes YET.


November 30th, 2009
3:10 pm

Just WOW at the poor miserable sad lives you conservatives live. I feel sorry for you and wish you could get over your fear and anger.


November 30th, 2009
3:13 pm

Full Story about how Huckabee lobbyed for Dumond’s release:

The same story goes on to relate that Huckabee granted twice as many pardons, commutations, etc. as the previous three gov. COMBINED.

Just Dumond and Clemmons have gone on after their clemency to MURDER SIX PEOPLE – the ACLU didn’t ask for their release, Huckabee did it on his own in spite of the prosecutors involved asking and pleading with him not to do it.

All of this blood is on the hands of Huckabee.

Dr.Alan Phillips

November 30th, 2009
3:14 pm

The words of Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley “This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time” echo across the nation today in the deaths of four of our finest law enforcement officers, murdered near Seattle Washington. This terror should and could have been prevented with strong leadership.

I am disappointed and disgusted when those sworn to uphold the law are shown to be derelict in their duty and fail to protect the people. There was absolutely no rationale for commuting the sentence of Maurcie Clemmons for his criminal behavior and crimes. Sentenced to 60 years in prison on the strong recommendation of prosecutors his sentence was commuted by a sitting governor granting him clemency. Mike Huckabee has called this crime a “horrible tragic event.” In my opinion, it was more than a tragic event, it was a horrible ambush and murder of four policemen by someone who should still be confined in an Arkansas prison. Mike Huckabee also indicated that if Clemmons is found to be responsible, It will be “the result of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state”. I disagree strongly with Mike, there would have been no incidents in Washington state if the Arkansas governor had not granted clemency to a predator in the first place.

I had dismissed earlier rumors of the Governor’s past criminal justice leniencies as mere political jabs from the past. As a result of the deaths of these front line defenders of our freedoms, I am unimpressed with Huckabee’s comments. A matter this harmful and serious cannot be spun by an incompetent former public official. Frankly, the Governor failed miserably and as a result families that should be sharing a marvelous Christmas-Holiday season together will now embark on decades of grief. No book, television show, guitar solo, or public relations effort will remove the devastation wrought by this hardened criminal who should have been left imprisoned.

Mike my message to you, “You have failed to follow the most basic guarantee of the constitution, our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You should have been in this instance a protector of the security guaranteed to all Americans through leadership which defends the dispensation of criminal justice. Parole boards, appointed by officials, are most mindful of an executive’s preference, the chief executive cannot hide behind their actions espousing non involvement.

I am a Republican with many friends from both parties, I love my country and our people. Your precipitous action has violated much of the nation’s trust, you failed to protect the people. Mike, I will not vote for you as a candidate for higher office.”


November 30th, 2009
3:33 pm


Huckabee finished second to McCain, I would say that is pretty far “in the process”. Get your facts straight. By your reasong H. Clinton didn’t get far in the “process” either.


November 30th, 2009
3:49 pm

Huck granted clemency in 2000 to this fellow for robbery convictions from when he was 18 and he was back in jail in 2001 after violating parole. He was again released in 2004 by the Arkansas parole board – not Huckabee. Since then he has turned up in Washington state and remained in trouble with the law. He was recently released on bond pending a trial on a rape accusation. Huckabee is not the reason this fellow is currently out. Since his clemency was granted in 2000 this man has been back in jail/prison in two different states and has gotten out each time. Blame the system, not one man.


November 30th, 2009
3:57 pm

George is bashing the right wing but the left wing would have call for this guys release any way.because he is a poor black man thats been discrimutating. The nutty left believes Obama is doing a great job. The native american are tell everyone that the healthcare that obama wants is what the indians have and it does not work as a indian how they like there healthcare/.


November 30th, 2009
5:04 pm

Huck’s toast! “Tough on Crime?” Don’t think so. He’s a good guy, too. Very personable, likable fellow. But this cannot be overcome. Period. The Republican version of Willie Horton.


November 30th, 2009
5:09 pm

Cat – I’m Native American and a former employee of the Indian Health Service. You certainly don’t speak for Native Americans. You probably don’t even know that under P.L. 93-638 that the majority health care services for Native Americans are delivered by the tribes, did you?

Go get your talking points from some place more reliable than right-wing blogs and talk radio, you might have more credibility.


November 30th, 2009
5:17 pm

Arkansas withdrew the no-bail warrant that would have allowed Washington State to keep Clemmons in jail pending trial on his charges in Washington:

Blame law & order Southern states for Clemmons being loose, not the so-called liberal courts in Washington – they have to follow the law. Their hands are tied by the failure of Arkansas over and over again.


November 30th, 2009
5:58 pm

All of you right-wingers who claim that Huckabee pardoned or granted clemency because of the ACLU or the NAACP can take a hike, read this:

“A Southern Baptist preacher, Huckabee sometimes was motivated to release prisoners at the urging of pastors or other acquaintances, according to news accounts.

His clemencies also benefitted the stepson of a staff member, and even Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who received a pardon for a 1975 traffic offense. Huckabee, who sometimes jammed on the bass guitar with his band at campaign events, pardoned Richards after meeting him at a concert.”

And I think I’ve been reading all these conservatives attacking liberals over victimes rights, out of the same article, read this quote:

“It’s a crying shame that a sitting governor would be so insensitive to victims’ rights,” Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley told an Arkansas newspaper, The Leader, in 2004.

Stick a fork in Huckabee, he’s done – and if you think you can disown him because he’s a RINO – well that’s not how the general public sees it.


December 1st, 2009
11:45 am

Lance –

Wake up and smell the coffee. There’s more to this country than republicans and democrats (thankfully). I’m not a “DEM”, and you need to start take your partisan filter off.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

December 1st, 2009
11:57 am

Mr. “I think the Bible is a higher law than the Constitution.”

Well that’s all fine and good, but we’ll see if you feel that way when/if another religion becomes the majority in this country and they feel the same way.

Or, better yet, which particular demonination of Christianity gets to decide which of THEIR interpretations of the Bible gets to be the law?

Huckabee is a menace to society.


December 1st, 2009
3:30 pm

1. Thank God for the officer that dispatched this dirt bag without a trial, theatrics of star defense attorneys and liberal symapathizers.
2. Anyone giving a gun to a criminal and psych like this dirt bag is guilty of murder;
3. Fire the officials that approved his clemency and passed on revoking his parole; also the prosecutors who let the psycho out on bail in Tacoma without a hold for psycho evaluation and shipment back to Arkansas or Huckabee’s address;
4. Put his family behind bars for life if they aided and abetted him;
5. Hold Huckabee and others responsible when they buy into the “I found Jesus” ploy for early release;
5. Pray for the families of the slain victims


December 1st, 2009
4:14 pm

After reviewing Huckabee’s record on pardons and clemency during the 2008 presidential race, this Life-Long-Republican came to the conclusion that I can not vote for him even though I find him appealing.
Commutations and pardons based on regligous conversion make no legal or theological sence. Presidents can do it with the stroke of a pen.