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Mike Huckabee and the rapist "pardon"

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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Your comments are welcome!

You should learn the difference between a pardon and parole. And who does what

Posted by  Steve on 10/13/2007 12:01 AM #

Huckabee said on TV last night that he is not able to parole, that is the job of the parole board and the courts, not the governor.

However, Huckabee reportedly wrote a letter to the convict expressing his wish that he be paroled.

“My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parole is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place," Huckabee wrote in the 1996 letter obtained by National Review Online.

In 1992, then Governor Jim Guy Tucker reduced Dumond's sentence of life plus 20 years to make him eligible for parole.

Huckabee said that Dumond had an "unblemished prison record," and that he met all the qualifications for parole, including having a job lined up and a sponsor with a church.

Dumond was paroled by the board in 1999. But shortly after his release Dumond moved to Missouri where he raped and murdered Carol Sue Shields. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Clay County, Mo., in 2003. He died in prison in 2005.

Posted by  Anonymous on 11/12/2007 10:29 AM #

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