Arkansas Prosecutor Says Mike Huckabee Granted Clemency to a "Disturbing Number of People" - Video 11/29/09
Here is video of a local news report out of Washington about suspected police killer Maurice Clemmons. The report includes a brief phone interview with an Arkansas prosecutor - Larry Jegley - who said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee "granted clemency to a disturbing number of people," including a person named Maurice Clemmons "who should not have been let out." This report says Clemmons was serving a 95-year sentence in Arkansas when released. Other reports have said it was a 60-year sentence.
The report says Gov. Huckabee has issued a statement which denounces the shootings, and places the blame on the criminal justice system.
Here is Huckabee's statement (thanks to reader Nelsa for the link):
The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and in Washington State. The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.
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. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.