goes own way on pardons
across Arkansas have had their differences with Gov. Huckabee's generous
pardons policy, but what bothers them the most is Huckabee's superior
attitude when they dare to object.
The governor often doesn't even alert prosecutors when he commutes the
sentences of killers serving life sentences without parole, but when
prosecutors contact him, he's contemptuous of these professionals who
know a lot more about criminals than Huckabee thinks he knows.
Prosecutors from both political parties find his clemencies and his
patronizing comments equally appalling.
In his letters to prosecutors, he sounds irritated, as if he were above
criticism, which he probably thinks he is.
The governor would prefer the public didn't know how many pardons he
has issued since he took office in 1996.
Huckabee told us last month that he issues clemencies and commutations
in only about 10 percent of the cases that come before him.
But Huckabee's office would not give us the exact number.
His spokesman said the governor's office does not keep a record of the
pardons, which is unbelievable. You'd think something that important
would at least be stored in someone's computer there.
We checked with the secretary of state's office, the official keeper
of such records. Huckabee has granted more than 700 pardons and clemencies
since he took office, which is a lot more than most people might have
You can see why prosecutors are unhappy with him, and since Huckabee
is a lame duck, they predict a steep rise in the number of clemencies
before he leaves office.
Huckabee almost never gives a reason for his clemencies, although he'll
offer a hint now and then that the criminals have been rehabilitated,
or he'll even suggest they're innocent and should go free, as he did
in the case of convicted rapist Wayne DuMond, who then murdered a couple
of Missouri women after his release.
He had considered offering DuMond clemency, but the public uproar and,
yes, pressure from the local prosecutor resulted in Huckabee instead
arranging a pardon for DuMond with the state Post Prison Transfer Board.
Huckabee thinks he is better informed than the prosecutors, and, what's
more, he shows a complete lack of empathy for the victims and their
Instead, he'll let a foolish young man named Cory Cox, his deputy legal
counsel and adviser on criminal justice, write an obnoxious letter like
this one to Saline County Prosecutor Robert Herzfeld, who objected to
one of Huckabee's pardons:
"The governor read you (sic) letter and laughed out loud,"
Cox wrote about a life-and-death situation that somehow amused Huckabee
or maybe he didn't really laugh out loud and Cox was just making
it up, trying to sound clever.
Cox should have been fired in any case, either for disclosing the governor's
morbid sense of humor or simply lying about it.
"He wanted me to respond to you," Cox continued, ending with
this zinger: "I wish you success as you cut down on your caffeine
Why is young Corey Cox still on the state payroll?
And we wonder why state government is dysfunctional.
Next: How victims' families are mistreated
seek more openness on pardons
you talk to prosecutors around the state, many of them will tell you they're
unhappy that Gov. Huckabee pardons criminals without letting law-enforcement
officials or victims' families know why he's doing it, as he's required
by law. [FULL
prosecutors go on offensive
trade jabs over sentencing, pardoning of killers, other thugs
prosecutors around the state are upset with Gov. Huckabee for grant- ing
clemency to violent criminals, but he is blaming the prosecutors for often
not seeking the maximum penalty and keeping felons locked up longer.
B.B. goes home then to funeral
King didn't seem his usual old self last weekend when he was performing
in his hometown of Indianola, Miss.
___ He put on two fine shows in one evening,
but he seemed a bit distracted. [FULL
Clintons in lovefest with Bush
there's anything more unappealing than watching politicians mud wrestle,
it's watching them pretend they like each other.
insincerity, Presi-dent Bush praised his predecessor on Monday during
an unveiling of the Clintons' official (and utterly mediocre) White House
World-class blues played near here
couple of great blues musicians showed up at Sticky Fingerz in Little
Rock on Thursday night.
___ Michael Burks, probably Arkansas' most
talented young bluesman, dropped in to catch Deborah Coleman and her band
and he was impressed. [FULL
Reagan had won in '76
of words and thousands of images have filled newspapers and television
screens since the passing of Ronald Reagan on Saturday.
colleagues, politicians and scholars have discussed every facet of his
remarkable life: How he started out poor, became a Holly-wood star, found
a second career on television, then a third as a corporate spokesman,
and yet another, more spectacular career as a politician.
His life has been thoroughly examined this week, but one crucial period
and its consequences are virtually overlooked: His losing out to President
Ford for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1976, which,
it could be argued, helped the Soviets stay in power for several more
These Vets couldn't go to unveiling
Albert Jonikas couldn't make it to the dedication of the World War II
memorial over the weekend.
an 84-year-old veteran of the Second World War who saw action in the Pacific
- Iwo Jima, Saipan, Okinawa, which was near where the Japanese surrendered
- but he doesn't get around much anymore. [FULL