Huckabee's Compassion For Violent Criminals

by tristero

As I'm sure all of you know, four police officers were gunned down recently by a maniac in Washington state. The "person of interest," Maurice Clemmons, had his sentence commuted by former Republican presidential candidate Michael Huckabee when he was governor of Arkansas.

Huckabee has a history of spectacularly bad judgment when it comes to violent criminals. From Gail Collins' NY Times 2007 column entitled Who Doesn’t Heart Huckabee?:
Lately, anti-Huckabee conservatives have been suggesting he’s soft on crime. The story involves an Arkansas man, Wayne DuMond, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a high school cheerleader in 1985. While he was free awaiting trial, masked men broke into his home, beat and castrated him. His testicles wound up in a jar of formaldehyde, on display on the desk of the local sheriff. At the trial, he was sentenced to life plus 20 years. When Huckabee became governor, DuMond was still in an apparently hopeless situation, though theoretically eligible for parole. Huckabee championed his cause, and wrote him a congratulatory letter when he was finally released in 1999. Then in 2000 DuMond moved to Kansas City, where he sexually assaulted and murdered a woman who lived near his home.
What Collins didn't mention is that the young girl DuMond raped in Arkansas was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton and that Huckabee worked to release DuMond as a way of currying favor with the extreme right (go here and here, for details). But Collins did have time to sympathize, not with the victims of DuMond's horrific crimes, but with poor, poor Michael Huckabee:
“There’s nothing you can say, but my gosh, it’s the thing you pray never happens,” the clearly tortured Huckabee recently told The National Review. “And it did.” If by some miracle he became the presidential nominee, there would obviously be many opportunities to point out that Michael Dukakis never sent a letter to Willie Horton celebrating his furlough.

Why do the leaders of the religious right keep sidling away from a Baptist minister whose greatest political sin seems to have been showing compassion to a prisoner who appeared to deserve it?
Because as craven and as stupid as religious right leaders are, they're not half as craven and stupid as some NY Times op-ed columnists I could mention, Gail. Plan to write about the current Huckabee-related atrocity? If so, be sure to read Huckabee's incredible "buck-stops-elsewhere" statement carefully distancing himself from any personal culpability:
Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. 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. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him.
Not Huckabee's fault, you see. A series of failures by the government, not, mind you, a then-sitting governor named Michael Huckabee.

And this is a man who is still seriously discussed as a potential future president of the United States.