Huckabee: It’s disgusting that bloggers are criticizing me instead of grieving for those cops; Update: Huck rips prosecutor

posted at 4:55 pm on December 1, 2009 by Allahpundit

He’s only thinking of the fallen officers, you see.

“It really does show how sick our society has become that people are more concerned about a campaign three years from now than those grieving families in Washington,” Huckabee said during an interview on Joe Scarborough’s radio show. “It is disgusting, but people use anything as a political weapon.”…

“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.”…

“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?”

Kudos to Huck, I guess, for stopping short of calling his critics racist too. In fairness, the clemency in Clemmons’s case wasn’t indefensible at the time. He was a kid, he’d already served 10 years, he had a judge on his side, and at the end of the day, the reduced sentence imposed by Huckabee was still a stiff 47 years. It was the parole board who sprung him, not Huck. Toss in the point about disparate justice based on class and race and the fact that the prosecutor who’s objecting so much now mysteriously had nothing to say at the time and there’s at least an argument to be made that a reduced sentence was in order. It’s his dumb luck that out of the hundreds and hundreds of pardons and commutations he granted that gave him his rep for being soft on crime, the cop-killer in the bunch turns out to be someone who made a semi-compelling appeal. But it is what it is. Like Geraghty says:

It takes a particular bravado for a man in Huckabee’s circumstances to contend that his critics are the ones who should hang their heads in shame; some people might find letting violent criminals go free early out of a misguided sense that they’ve changed their ways a clearer reflection of a sick society.

Indeed. Just like it takes a particular bravado to blame “the system” now when the head of that system felt obliged to peremptorily overrule its lawful judgments again and again and again.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s Anderson Cooper grilling the judge who recommended clemency for Clemmons to Huckabee. Things get interesting about halfway in. Exit question: Now that we know Huck’s not running in 2012 — and he surely isn’t, or else he wouldn’t be wagging his finger at people about this — does Pawlenty’s critique seem a tad gratuitous?

Update: Hot off the presses at Human Events, Huckabee lays out the facts of Clemmons’s clemency, accepts responsibility for his part in it, then unloads on the prosecutor:

During the legally required 30 day public comment period before action on the case was complete, there were no objections registered by my office by any authorities, despite claims of the local prosecutor that he “was afraid something like this would happen.” Interestingly, if he was so afraid, then he has failed to explain why in 2004 when Clemmons was back in prison for a parole violation, his office failed to pursue charges and in fact dropped them, allowing Clemmons to go free, move to Washington, and for reasons beyond me, continue to avoid extradition back to Arkansas or be kept by Washington authorities as he displayed signs of psychotic behavior. I am responsible for the commutation in 2000. I would not have commuted his sentence in 2004 after the re-arrest or in any of the years following. I can explain my decision in 2000. I cannot explain the decision of the very vocal prosecutor in Little Rock who seems to avoid answering the questions as to why he didn’t keep Clemmons in prison in 2004 or get him brought back to Arkansas for his repeated parole violations.

No religious considerations to it either, he claims:

Religion had nothing to do with the commutation. It’s been erroneously expressed that my own personal faith or the claims of faith of the inmate factored into my decision. That is simply not true and nothing in the record even suggests it. The reasons were straightforward — a unanimous recommendation from the board, support from a trial judge and no objections from officials in a case that involved a 16 year old sentenced to a term that was exponentially longer than similar cases and certainly longer than had he been white, upper middle class, and represented by effective counsel who would have clearly objected to the sentencing. (His race, economic status, or education level are not excuses for his behavior because many people of color who are uneducated and living in abject poverty are civil, trustworthy, and honest to a fault and many well-educated, wealthy, white people are dirtbags — think Bernie Madoff).

Update: Alex Castellanos, a former Romney man and now a senior media guy at the RNC, says it’s all over for Huck.


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“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.”…

Can Hucky spell: “End of my political career”?

‘Cause if its not, it ought to be. I’ve never been too much of a Huckabee fan, but this is too much. His political career is and should be at an end. Anyone who takes him too seriously after this disaster, needs to re-examine themselves too.

What a freakin’ disgrace this creep is showing himself to be.

seanrobins on December 1, 2009 at 9:28 PM

No, Huckabee isn’t completely at fault in this

ddrintn on December 1, 2009 at 9:09 PM

Mike Huckabee is not at fault at all. He didn’t show negligent judgment in commuting the sentence of Clemmons. This was a 16 year old kid who was given a 108 year sentence for robbery. All Huckabee did was commute his sentence which reduced it to 47 years which is still incredibly long for a minor and that was only after the Arkansas Parole Board made the request. The Judge agreed. Huckabee’s judgment is fine. Nobody could ever know that this kid would become a murderer. Leaving a child to rot in jail for 100 years would have been cruel to say the least.

apacalyps on December 1, 2009 at 9:40 PM

Huckabee spent so much time letting convicts out of jail in order to secure the support of the “minority community” in Arkansas. It worked. As a result, he got more support from black Arkansans than a white Republican has a right to expect.

It was a brilliant scheme, except for the dead people.

Really Right on December 1, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Let me be plain: screw anybody that puts the politics of this over the deaths of four of our finest. You should be at least ashamed of yourselves.

n0doz on December 1, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Mike Huckabee is not at fault at all. He didn’t show negligent judgment in commuting the sentence of Clemmons. This was a 16 year old kid who was given a 108 year sentence for robbery. All Huckabee did was commute his sentence which reduced it to 47 years which is still incredibly long for a minor and that was only after the Arkansas Parole Board made the request. The Judge agreed. Huckabee’s judgment is fine. Nobody could ever know that this kid would become a murderer. Leaving a child to rot in jail for 100 years would have been cruel to say the least.

Hmmm…well actually it sort of WAS Huckabee’s fault, along with the parole board that recommended his parole. This cop killer was a bad, bad dude. Which is the reason he got such a long sentence.
Sentenced to 5 years for robbery in Pulaski County, Aug. 3, 1989.

* Sentenced to 8 years for burglary, theft and probation revocation in Pulaski County, Sept. 9, 1989

* Sentenced to an indeterminate amount for aggravated robbery and theft in Pulaski County, Nov. 15, 1989

* Sentenced to 20 years each for burglary and theft of property in Pulaski County, Feb. 23, 1990.

* Sentenced to 6 years for firearm possession in Pulaski County, Nov. 19, 1990.

Some sentences were concurrent and some consecutive. But the total effect of all these sentences was a sentence of 108 years.

Arkansas prosecutors were furious about his clemency. but for some reason Huckabee thought the cop killer had gone through some “religious conversion”. So I guess if you mention Jeebus in Huck’s presence you can’t be a bad person afterall. So if Huckabee had not commuted the cop killer’s sentence to 47 years the cop killer would not have eligible for parole, thus let out, only to committ two more crimes, be thrown back in jail, only to be released in 2004 because of some prosecutorial screw up.
Bottomline, Huckabee opened the door.

Here’s an article from the Arkansas Ledger in 2004 where Huckabee verbally spars with the procecutors and gives a whole host of weasely answers.

Thanks, Huckabee. The only good news now is our Seattle cops put four bullet into the cop killer and saved us a ton of taxpayer dollars.

Fed45 on December 1, 2009 at 10:12 PM

If there are any doubts, you don’t commute a sentence.

He mentions 3 years out as if he is still trying to do damage control not for himself or families of the victims, ut to try to salvage his chances for 2012.

Despicable.

Sapwolf on December 1, 2009 at 10:23 PM

108 years and he’s out in how many? The kid was the gun. Huckabee was one of the “shooters”.

unclesmrgol on December 1, 2009 at 9:03 PM

No he wasn’t. #1 The sentencing did NOT fit the crime. #2 There were a lot of events in between Huckabee’s commutation and the murder of these police officers. Huckabee is not to blame for this happening and he didn’t act inappropriately when he did this. All he knew was the guy was a kid at the time who had robbed somebody and was sentenced to 100 or so years. Why would he not commute the sentence? Any sensible person would.

Narutoboy on December 1, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Why don’t libertarians push for a Universal Penal Code among the states to enshrine these sentiments? Why do we have these laws on the books and then get into arguments about the laws being too cruel to apply? Shouldn’t that be done before they’re enacted? Why must libertarianism always be about rescuing the guilty?

If the people of the State of Arkansas want to hand down 108 years total to violent felons of any age, fine by me. Don’t like it, don’t waggle a pistol at an Arkie.

Chris_Balsz on December 1, 2009 at 10:50 PM

On the surface Huck seems not to blame entirely–others have to accept their share too. But it seems to me that if I were going to commute a sentence resulting from a very serious crime with an un-balanced perp, that I might have looked into it more deeply. Not just in the case of Clemmons, but in any case involving a serious felon. These guys are such expert con-artists that taking their word for anything is foolish. Commuting sentences is serious business and should be treated as such–always.

jeanie on December 1, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Totally enraged about the death of these four officers…oh, and the four before that…and the little girl who was raped.

But, it’s interesting that if you or I were murdered tomorrow, I doubt policemen around the country would be grieving for us. I’ll never get the idea that so and so’s life is more worthy of grief than someone else’s simply because of their occupation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 1, 2009 at 11:05 PM

We haven’t heard from the families of the slain officers yet. If they come out and attack Huckabee as part of the general criminal justice system that allowed Clemmons to be freed he’s done, finished, through, over, toast.

Well, the families haven’t spoken out (and they likely won’t), but an officer from the Lakewood Police Dept sure did.

http://www.q13fox.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=a9232844-e1f8-4c35-ae74-929561c800b9&src=front

Scroll to about the 6:00 mark. Needless to say, this officer is no fan of the likes of Huckabee, parole boards, and any dimwits here in Washington that let this guy out.

Fed45 on December 1, 2009 at 11:07 PM

All he knew was the guy was a kid at the time who had robbed somebody and was sentenced to 100 or so years. Why would he not commute the sentence? Any sensible person would.

Narutoboy on December 1, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Read the Arkansas Ledger article I linked to. Huckabee ignored the prosecutors recommendations. You call that sensible? And I also listed out his crimes. (PLURAL). The cop-killer wasn’t sentenced to 108 years because he “had robbed somebody”. Like I said, the sentences were for multiple crimes, some were concurrent.

Hell, while the cop killer was about to appear in court one time he managed to take a hinge from a door, hide it in his sock and was planning to hit the judge with it. In another court incident he attempted to take a gun from a security guard transporting him to prison..this was in his first round of crimes…when you say all he did was “robbed somebody”. Believe me, we here in Washington know more about this cop-killer than we care to. And we realize who got the ball rolling on this guy getting out.

Fed45 on December 1, 2009 at 11:19 PM

But, it’s interesting that if you or I were murdered tomorrow, I doubt policemen around the country would be grieving for us. I’ll never get the idea that so and so’s life is more worthy of grief than someone else’s simply because of their occupation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 1, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Oh, I dunno…maybe because we depend on the police to keep us from possibly being murdered tomorrow? Just guessing. I could be wrong. But I doubt it.

Fed45 on December 1, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Curious: How many of you out there still want this man to be president? Do you think if it were him or B.O. he would still be a valid alternative?

paulsur on December 1, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Mike Huckabee is not at fault at all. He didn’t show negligent judgment in commuting the sentence of Clemmons. This was a 16 year old kid who was given a 108 year sentence for robbery. All Huckabee did was commute his sentence which reduced it to 47 years which is still incredibly long for a minor and that was only after the Arkansas Parole Board made the request. The Judge agreed. Huckabee’s judgment is fine. Nobody could ever know that this kid would become a murderer. Leaving a child to rot in jail for 100 years would have been cruel to say the least

First off he was not given a 108 sentence just for robbery as you put it. He was given the sentence for multiple crimes
to run concurrently. He was a career criminal. And he wasn’t the only career criminal the huckafraud commutated, he also did that for a serial rapist who went out and raped again after Huckafraud let him loose.
Mike should be totally ashamed of his self for trying to put any of the blame off on other people for his irresponsibility.

paulsur on December 1, 2009 at 11:45 PM

I’ll never get the idea that so and so’s life is more worthy of grief than someone else’s simply because of their occupation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 1, 2009 at 11:05 PM

More like respect for the added risk they take on our behalf.

Chris_Balsz on December 1, 2009 at 11:47 PM

Washington resident here:

Huck is a scum-f’ing-bag.

StartinOver on December 2, 2009 at 12:04 AM

Sorry, but for a governor who granted more pardons/commutations/clemencies than the the combined number of his surrounding states, his words hold no weight.

No law and order governor was Mike Huckabee, that’s for sure.

Intrepid on December 2, 2009 at 12:35 AM

Huck wasn’t the only one who screwed up with this guy. Hell, he probably isn’t even the one most responsible.

But having said that, I certainly cannot suppor him continuing a political career.

He is perceived as being responsible and that’s good enough.

schmuck281 on December 2, 2009 at 12:54 AM

I’m not defending Huck but it’s gotta be hard to know every detail of every case presented. At some point, he has to trust the people who advise him. Damn shame it was this time, though.

Big John on December 2, 2009 at 1:01 AM

Huckabee has this
Romney has his Mass Healthcare
Pawlenty has his mullet
Gingrich has his past
Cheney has his heart

it all clears the road for Palin….easy path to nomination

joepub on December 1, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Funny. Our crew was talking about this last night. We’ve all followed Sarah for years, ever since she became Governor of Alaska. Back then we knew she was special.

But you know, we are beginning to think there is some serious divine intervention going on here.

Think about it. Those that knew her back then thought, hmmm, POTUS someday? But not many outside of Alaska were familiar with her.

I mean really, what are the odds that the RINO’s RINO, old Maverick McCain himself, would chose the greatest conservative superstar since Ronald Reagan as his running mate? Really, what are the odds!

Then look at what Obama, Pete Rouse (Obama’s campaign chief of staff, now WH adviser) the Alaska Mafia, and so on caused Palin to do. That insanity was so over the top, cost the Alaska tax payers so many millions, Sarah felt she must step down.

Since then, look how things have fallen.

Sarah has been on Facebook forever, but no big deal. All of a sudden, she has time to post a couple of sentences about “death panels” and sets the health care debate on it’s ass.

In fact, every thing she has done has been effective, and awesome. Now the book.

And then there is the “competition.”

As you say RomneyCare is a non starter.
Huckabee is done, in a very big way.
Pawlenty is well, Pawlenty.

Sarah is strong and has proven she can take absolutely everything that is thrown at her, and beg for more. You don’t do that on your own.

I’m not one of these overly religious people. But I believe there is a God, and I believe he has taken a shine to this woman. I believe she is the right person for this time in history, just like George W Bush was the right guy in the White House on 9/11.

Events are what make the leader. They determine who it will be. The events are sure looking kindly toward Sarah Palin. These times were ready made for her.

Whether this is God’s hand, or sheer coincidence, who knows, but I think some things happen for a reason. I truly think there is more going on here.

gary4205 on December 2, 2009 at 1:39 AM

‘Global warming’ and Huckabee both clobbered.

It’s been a good few days.

I’ll even give Obama credit for doing mostly the right thing re Afghanistan, albeit two months late and probably only after concluding that the hard-left defeatists really can’t hurt him.

I’m a big Sarah fan, but I’ll stay neutral viz Palin vs Romney vs whoever else for now.

JEM on December 2, 2009 at 3:06 AM

(let me add, though, that the manner in which Huckabee’s Presidential aspirations got taken down was in no way ‘good’.)

JEM on December 2, 2009 at 3:07 AM

The prosecutor who Huckster says never raised any objections also says his office never received any notice of the intention to grant clemency.

Then he should complain to the parole board. They are the ones who would notify them. Seriously, they schedule hearings. Wouldn’t you think the DA’s office would look at the schedule or have a representative their at all times? You are the one who is naive.

I guess 10 years and change is sufficient time served for a half dozen instances of armed robbery/aggravated burglary? The people who served on those juries didn’t seem to think so, but I guess Huckabee is much wiser and more enlightened than the rest of us bumpkins here. ASSHAT.
NoLeftTurn on December 1, 2009 at 9:12 PM

If they did, his conviction should be overturned and a new trial ordered, BUMPKIN. For the billionith time, jury’s can’t consider sentencing except on capital cases.

Blake on December 2, 2009 at 3:08 AM

Sentenced to 5 years for robbery in Pulaski County, Aug. 3, 1989.

* Sentenced to 8 years for burglary, theft and probation revocation in Pulaski County, Sept. 9, 1989

* Sentenced to an indeterminate amount for aggravated robbery and theft in Pulaski County, Nov. 15, 1989

* Sentenced to 20 years each for burglary and theft of property in Pulaski County, Feb. 23, 1990.

* Sentenced to 6 years for firearm possession in Pulaski County, Nov. 19, 1990.

Fed45 on December 1, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Remember, these are only the ones he was convicted of, but this does not include his entire arrest record.

In addition Clemmons beat an old lady for her purse. I’m amazed that anyone can defend Huck in this matter. This puke was a monster and headed for worse as any thinking person can see.

As I said earlier the buck stops with the governor. It was his responsibility to research the case before giving clemency and he admits he didn’t.

Huck was squishy on criminals granting over 700 clemencies.

dogsoldier on December 2, 2009 at 6:46 AM

Sorry, but for a governor who granted more

pardons/commutations/clemencies than the the combined number of his surrounding states, his words hold no weight.

No law and order governor was Mike Huckabee, that’s for sure.

Intrepid on December 2, 2009

Even with the GOP’s lurch to the left, it’s hard to imagine them seriously considering this clown for whom “soft on crime” doesn’t begin to come close. Rot in political hell, Huckabee, you moronic turd.

SKYFOX on December 2, 2009 at 8:30 AM

If they did, his conviction should be overturned and a new trial ordered, BUMPKIN. For the billionith time, jury’s can’t consider sentencing except on capital cases.

Blake on December 2, 2009 at 3:08 AM

Perhaps things are different in your state, but juries do “consider sentencing” as part of the sentencing phase in all jury trials in Kentucky and in all other jurisdictions that I am aware of. The sentencing phase occurs after the verdict of guilty is rendered. Both the prosecution and the defense put on witnesses, the defendant’s prior criminal record(if any) can be introduced, and then both sides make closing arguments. The jury then goes back to deliberate and recommends a sentence, but the judge has the final say when he imposes it. 99% of the time the judge goes with the jury’s recommendation, but he doesn’t have to. This happens in all cases in which a jury trial is demanded, not just capital cases.

Dukeboy01 on December 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Dukeboy01 on December 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Yikes, you are right! Nothing personal, but I find that backwards.

Blake on December 2, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I’m not defending Huck but it’s gotta be hard to know every detail of every case presented. At some point, he has to trust the people who advise him. Damn shame it was this time, though.

Big John on December 2, 2009 at 1:01 AM

He doesn’t HAVE to commute or pardon anybody.

Chris_Balsz on December 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM

I have no doubt he believed his action was correct at the time.

I do take issue with what I read in my morning paper: Huck supposedly said he’d do it again.

Say what? Knowing the outcome of this case, I’d hope that if an official were presented with an identical situation they might pour over the file and ask more questions at the very least.

Perhaps the more proactive approach would be to stop commuting sentences unless the convict really wasn’t guilty due to hidden facts or similar injustice and other “worthy cases” — if there is such a thing — would result merely in probation for the duration of the sentence?

Perfect? Certainly not. But at least with probation, the first time they violate the law, they get yanked back to the joint for the original crime. Here, that would have save lives.

EconomicNeocon on December 2, 2009 at 10:38 AM

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