Huckabee's home state is not shy about putting criminals away for centuries. And the former Governor is not shy about setting them free.
Yesterday, the New York Timeswrote that the commutation of accused cop-killer Maurice Clemmons' sentence in 2000 was so de rigueur for then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee it didn't even make a list of his Top 10 most-publicized pardons.
On August 1, 2004, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote up Huckabee's most noteworthy clemencies. What can you learn from the list? Well, for one, five years ago Clemmons wasn't on most Arkansans radar. But there were a lot of other criminals helped by Huckabee who were.
Of the 10, the most controversial Huckabee commuations listed by the Gazette all had the whiff of favoritism.
Helping out two trustees:
JAMES MAXWELL Pleaded guilty in the 1979 fatal shooting of the Rev. Billy Price Bennett of Little Rock, the top Arkansas official of the Church of God. Maxwell shot Bennett in the Reservoir Road area of Little Rock after test-driving a car that Bennett was selling.
Huckabee in 2000 initially wanted to make Maxwell, a trusty at the Governor's Mansion, immediately eligible for parole.
WILLIE WAY JR.
Way pleaded guilty to the 1973 killing of James V. Carter, 65, owner and operator of Carter Grocery in Little Rock. The state maintained that Way shot Carter twice in the chest as Carter's wife watched.
Huckabee in 2001 reduced Way's sentence of life to immediate parole eligibility. Way was a trusty at the Governor's Mansion.
And the stepson of an employee:
DONALD CLARK Prosecutors described him as a career burglar. His stepmother, Nancy Clark, works for the governor on prison issues and at one time handled clemencies.
He was convicted of a combined nine burglary charges in four counties - Garland, Clark, Dallas and Saline - in 1996 and received 40 years in prison.
Huckabee in 2001 commuted his sentence to time served.