A college professor asked me last month if I was to denounce Mike Huckabee due to his pardon of a violent rapist who later raped and killed after his pardon. In 1988, The Forerunner printed an article about Mike Dukakis’ pardon of Willie Horton. So I did some quick Internet “research” and I initially was taken in about with the blogosphere buzz about this.
But it turns out now I have to eat crow.
The “rapist pardon” story is a complete distortion. The story about the rape pardon is completely false. Huckabee’s opponents quoted one part of a letter to a prisoner who committed rape, “My desire is that you be released from prison.” They did not quote the end of the letter in which Huckabee recommended that his sentence not be commuted. Huckabee did not issue a pardon. The parole decision was the parole board’s decision, not the governor’s.
The rapist’s commutation was given by Jim Guy Tucker when Bill Clinton was governor back in 1992. Tucker gave the commutation in part because the rapist had been castrated by a group of vigilantes while he was awaiting trial.
Huckabee later reviewed the commutation and said that the rapist met the criteria for parole as the law stood, but denied his commutation. The state board then granted the parole. But Huckabee didn’t parole him. Governors in Arkansas don’t parole people, nor can they stop a parole.
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