Former cop rips pardon
By JOHN HOFHEIMER
AND RICK KRON
However Helen Spencer died, her murderer should spend the rest of his
life in prison for his brutal acts. [FULL
Governor sets record for clemencies
Huckabee is on a roll: He has freed more convicts than all of his recent
predecessors combined more than 10 times as many as Gov. Clinton
during a 10-year period from 1983 to 1992.
Huckabee has issued more clemencies in the last 18 months than he did
during his first six years in office. This feverish pace of clemencies
suggests that he'll free hundreds of convicts before he leaves office
in January 2007.
In the face of in-creasing criticism from victims' families and law-enforcement
officials, you'd think our incredible shrinking governor would take
a breather from signing clemency papers, but he's doing just the opposite:
Like a child who will not behave even after he's reprimanded, Huckabee,
to prove he's boss, keeps issuing more and more clemencies 214
pardons and 40 commutations since last year, and, all told, 567 pardons
and 102 commutations since he took office in 1996, for a total of 669
and still rising. He'll end up with more than 1,000 clemencies that
is, combining pardons and commutations.
He likes issuing clemency papers the way other people enjoy fishing
and camping: It's his hobby. We have analyzed the record, and what we've
found will shock you.
Let's put the scandal of Huckabee's clemencies in perspective:
Even that lying, liberal, no-good, cheating Bill Clinton has a better
record on pardons and commutations than Huckabee. True, when young Clinton
became governor in 1979, he did what Huckabee is doing now: In his first
two-year term, Clinton went on a tear and commuted the sentences of
66 convicts and pardoned 72 others.
He lost his re-election bid in 1980 in part because of his generous
clemencies. But when he came back in 1982, he'd learned his lesson and
did just nine commutations and 279 pardons during the next decade.
Frank White, the Republican who defeated Clinton for one term, issued
just four commutations and 35 pardons. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, who succeeded
Clinton when he was elected president in 1992, granted about the same
number of clemencies in the next four years: just seven commutations
and 35 pardons .
Politicians of all stripes realized in the 1980s and 1990s that there
was a price to pay if they kept freeing murderers and rapists, who were
usually serving life sentences without parole before they were pardoned.
It was also around that time that the rights of victims were recognized
across the nation. Families were suddenly consulted about pardons and
Huckabee has reversed that trend, ignoring victims' families and lending
a sympathetic ear to killers, rapists and drunks, especially if a minister
from Huckabee's circle vouches for their jailhouse conversion.
Last week alone, he issued 12 clemencies, several over the objections
of local prosecutors, and, in one local case, even over the objections
of the usually pliable Post-Prison Transfer Board. The board unanimously
disagreed with Huckabee and a minister friend that former Air Force
Sgt. Glen M. Green, who is serving life without parole, didn't mean
to kill a pregnant woman, and even if he did, he has been rehabilitated.
Last week's clemencies are as strange as the others. Arkansans are shaking
their heads in disbelief that Huckabee would free a monster like Glen
M. Green, a former sergeant at Little Rock Air Force Base, who beat
a pregnant Gravel Ridge woman with a martial-arts weapon, raped her
and then drove over her with his car in Lonoke County.
Lonoke County Prosecutor Lona McCastlain and the Jacksonville police
aren't too happy with Huckabee, but that doesn't bother him because
his friend, the Rev. Johnny Jackson, says Green is a good guy.
Huckabee also likes Denver Witham, a fellow musician who plays in the
Cummins Prison band and is serving life without parole.
Witham, who was also granted clemency last week, beat his victim with
a lead pipe during a robbery in a Saline County cemetery.
Huckabee and his staff will not discuss his clemencies, except for a
brief statement he issued to the Leader last month claiming that he
acts on only 10 percent of the cases that are put before him.
But, as we have shown, even that 10 percent translates into hundreds
of pardons and commutations.
Victims' families fear there will be many more in the coming months,
but they're organizing to stop Huckabee before he cleans out the prisons.
Some victims' families are so unhappy with Huckabee, they're demanding
that he resign.
This scandal should haunt him for the rest of his term and probably
for the rest of his life. His shameless refusal to explain his actions
and his insensitivity toward victims' families tell a lot about the
Through a combination of ig-norance and arrogance, Huckabee has alienated
both Republicans and Democrats probably more of the former, who
are angry that a supposedly conservative governor has brought shame
on their party.
Grassroots opposition to Huckabee.
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. [FULL
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