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Will Huckabee's Alleged Clemency Of Seattle Shooter Cost Him Politically?

December 10, 2009 by  

Will Huckabee's alleged clemency of Seattle shooter cost him politically?

Have revelations that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pardoned accused cop killer Maurice Clemmons in 2000 doomed Huckabee’s chances of securing the GOP presidential nomination in 2012?

Clemmons was shot to death by Seattle police Dec. 2, four days after he killed four Seattle police officers in a coffee shop.

Last week, The New York Times ran an article detailing the concerns some Arkansas prosecutors had about Huckabee’s apparent willingness to pardon individuals even with a significant criminal record.

According to the news source, "[the governor] typically gave little explanation for individual pardons [but] spoke often of his belief in redemption, based on a strong religious belief that even criminals are capable of changing their lives and often deserve a second chance."

In the meantime, Hucakbee sought to correct media reports by writing on the conservative news website Newsmax.com that he only reduced Clemmons’ sentence from 108 years to 47 years, rather than setting him free.

Still, the former governor took full responsibility for his actions and expressed his sadness over the tragedy, but added that "if the same file was presented to me today, I would have likely made the same decision."

According to opinion polls taken before the shootings, Huckabee was leading the group of major candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, with 50 percent of respondents saying they believed he was qualified for the highest office.
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