It's been a week since cop-killer Maurice Clemmons was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer. Time enough to take a look back and assess just how wrong were the initial impressions of who was responsible for the deaths of four Lakewood police officers.
It ain't his fault.
At the very start it seemed simple enough. Mike Huckabee, the abortion-hating, gay rights-denying, Confederate flag loving former Governor of Arkansas put Clemmons back on the streets? Roast his ass.
But now we know that knee-jerk reaction was ignorant and ill-informed. And also way, way wrong.To understand why, you could first read Huckabee's op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post.
Maurice Clemmons was 16 years old when he committed the crimes of burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 108 years in prison, dramatically outside the norm for sentencing for the crimes he committed and the age at which he committed them.Then you could avail yourself of the always-sensible Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.
Huckabee, apparently, reduced the sentence of a guy who was given 100 years in prison, for crimes he committed between the age of 16 and 18--none of which were murder or rape. I just find it impossible to criticize him for that decision. What I was trying to get at yesterday--albeit rather meekly--was that people who have an issue with Huckabee would do better to look at the laundry list of fuck-ups and loopholes which allowed Clemmons to remain free.What are those fuck-ups and loopholes about which Coates speaks?
Well now we know they include an Arkansas correctional system that refused to take back Clemmons after he'd violated parole, a pair of Pierce County judges who might not have known the full scope of Clemmons' violent past when they granted him a lower-than-requested bail and a sub-prime bonds company that prides itself on bailing out the unbailoutable, as they did with Clemmons.
A long laundry list, to be sure. And one that doesn't include Huckabee.