Under intense criticism by bloggers and political opponents for granting clemency to suspected cop killer Maurice Clemmons, I think it’s time to defend former Gov. Huckabee for a courageous decision. Clemmons had served 11 years in prison after being sentenced at the age of 18 to 60 years in prison for burglary and theft and was set to serve the 60 years, in addition to the 48 years he was already serving on five felony counts. Huckabee made these comments are noted in Prof. Berman’s blog
Huckabee defended his choice to grant the Arkansas felon clemency by insisting that Clemmons original sentence went too far. “If he were a white kid from an upper middle class family he would have gotten a lawyer and some counseling,” Huckabee said. “But because he was a young black kid he got 108 years.” Huckabee said the sentence was “far disproportionate from any other punishment in Arkansas at the time for a similar crime.”
“It’s a lot easier to be a pundit or a commentator or a blogger than to govern the state and have to make tough decisions,” he said. “People are talking about this from a political standpoint, but what they need to be asking is how did the system break down?”
So is Huckabee a closet liberal or just a man of conviction that sees the broken and often racist criminal justice system in this country for what it really is? I noticed that this clemency grant generated little notice when it was originally ordered.