Huckabee: Given the same set of facts, sure I’d commute Clemmons’s sentence again
posted at 4:00 pm on December 2, 2009 by Allahpundit
Via the Examiner, his latest musings on the cop-killer case on the day six of Clemmons’s friends and relatives were arrested for aiding and abetting. Note well that he’s not saying he’d grant clemency if he knew then what he knows now; he’s saying he’d grant clemency if he knew now only what he knew then. Which is well and good, but makes me wonder: Does Huck have no misgivings, even today, about his overall record of granting clemencies? If we could send him back in time armed with no specific details about any applicant’s fate but only the general knowledge that a few beneficiaries of his mercy would turn very, very bad upon being freed, would that affect his approach to each case? I’m not sure he has any regrets, although some of his most eloquent and devoted supporters clearly do.
Another thing. At one point in the clip, Huck says Clemmons “wasn’t a violent criminal” at the time. Wasn’t he? He was in for aggravated robbery when Huckabee commuted his sentence and had been sentenced to six years for firearms possession in 1990. Not only was he violent, he was violent in the courtroom:
In 1989, as he was being prosecuted, Clemmons demonstrated violent behavior; he hid a piece of metal in his sock at a pretrial hearing, and before the start of another hearing he grabbed a padlock off his holding cell and threw it at a court bailiff. He missed and instead struck his mother, who had come to bring him clothes.
Did Huck know? If not, would that affect his decision in hindsight?