Monday, November 30, 2009

The Washington Murders-Another Case of Our Broken Judicial System

Suspect Maurice Clemmons
"100 years in prison"......

At this point, it is too early to pass final judgement on the killings of four police officers in Washington state. We only have a suspect who has yet to even be arrested let alone have his day in court. However, it appears that what we have on our hands here is another case of someone who should not have been back on the streets. If it turns out that Maurice Clemmons is, indeed, the killer of these four police officers, then someone-particularly in Arkansas, has some explaining to do.

How is it that a violent criminal serving over 100 years had his sentence commuted by then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the advice of the parole board down to a sentence that immediately entitled him to parole? This is not the first case of Huckabee giving clemency to a violent offender who then went out and committed more mayhem. What in the hell was going on down there in Arkansas during Huckabee's tenure?

Here is the statement released by Huckabee's political action committee.

"The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and in Washington State. The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.

Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers."

Do you notice anything missing in this statement? Yes, the fact that Huckabee signed the commutation. Was he just signing off on everything the parole board put on his desk?

And this guy wants to run for president? I don't think he will have my vote.

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