Huckabee’s release of suspected cop-killer puts candidacy on the line

“Maurice Clemmons, named a ‘person of interest’ in the murder of four police officers in Washington state coffeehouse Sunday morning, was granted clemency from what amounted to a life sentence by then Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. He was subsequently paroled.”–BaptistPlanet.com

Many Christians have been Mike Huckabee fans since hearing of his outspoken faith in the Presidential primaries a couple of years ago. With news of 2010 and 2012 candidates already leaking out, I’m sure that many of us have thought of “Huck” more than once, but this story should make us think twice about asking such a man to run our country.

As BaptistPlanet points out, this particular criminal was one of many criminals pardoned by Huckabee, some with catastrophic consequences.

Clemmons in particular has a criminal history of at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington, according to The Seattle Times. His 100-plus year prison sentence was commuted in 2000 by Huckabee, who cited Clemmons’ youth.

The American Spectator makes a good point about the affect of these pardons on Huckabee’s future prospects. “While it is tempting to glaze over the details of what seem like old controversies, his past actions need to be considered within the context of Huckabee’s desire to be the nation’s commander in chief during a time of war. Quite simply, his disturbing penchant for giving second chances to violent criminals raises serious questions about whether he has the steely resolve required to stand up to rogue regimes and carry on the fight against Islamic terrorists.”

It will be interesting to see how Huckabee responds to the events surrounding the murder of these police officers, and how he defends his 1,033 clemencies over 10 years as governor, more than double what was granted during the 17 and a half years of his three predecessors: Bill Clinton, Frank White, and Jim Guy Tucker.

HuckPAC has released a statement that, while expressing remorse, takes no accountability for Huckabee’s role in this criminal’s freedom. In a time when so many politicians are untrustworthy and the American people are aching for transparency, he’s going to have to do better than that, especially if he wants to keep his strong Christian support.

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