Huckabee pardoned suspected Washington state cop killer

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee just took a huge hit to his Presidential prospects following the revelation that the suspect in the Washington State police killings was granted clemency by Huckabee nine years ago and subsequently released from prison.

According to the Seattle Times (linked from NRO's The Corner), Maurice Clemmons is sought in the brutal killings of four Lakewood police officers.

Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

If Clemmons proves to be the killer, and Huckabee becomes the Republican nominee, Huckabee could be subjected to the same kind of political attack ads that George H. W. Bush successfully used in the 1988 Presidential campaign against former Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis for being soft on crime in the Willie Horton case. Horton was a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole when he was granted a weekend furlough under a program Dukakis supported. Horton fled and subsequently raped a woman. The ad was very effective and Dukakis never recovered.

The Democrats would love to get revenge by using the same kinds of ads against a Republican nominee.

Clemmons was serving a 60 year sentence when Huckabee granted clemency.
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