Mike Huckabee did a base thing.
The Des Moines Examiner was quick on a list of Huckabee pardoned re-offenders. Somebody had opposition research on the Huckster handy for just the right opportunity. Below is an excerpt.....
Clemmons is just one of 1,103 criminals who were granted clemency by Huckabee. 163 got out of prison early because of Huckabee's actions. Twelve of them were murderers. Several went back to a life of crime, with at least 9 percent going back to prison. Prosecutors and victims often objected to the clemencies.
The reoffenders include:
--Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist of a teenager, was freed after Huckabee pressured the parole board. He later was found guilty of murder in Missouri.
--Eugene Fields, convicted for DWI. Two years after having his sentence reduced by Huckabee, he was arrested for a new DWI charge. Teresa Belew, director of Arkansas Mothers Against Drunk Driving, publicly complained about Huckabee’s clemency. Huckabee sent her a letter, suggesting that MADD was trying to “fan the flames of controversy that have been stirred in this case by the unusual curiosity of certain media members.”
--Wade Stewart, sentenced to life in prison for murder. He had 35 disciplinary marks on his prison record, but was released after Huckabee made him eligible for parole in 2004. He was later convicted on a weapons charge and felony theft.
Other violent criminals given clemency by Huckabee:
--Denver Witham, convicted of beating a man to death with a lead pipe
--Robert A. Arnold, Jr., convicted of killing his father-in-law.
--Willy Way, Jr., pled guilty to shooting a grocery store owner, while the owner's wife looked on.
--James Maxwell, murdered a reverend. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, when the reverend's daughter pleaded with Huckabee to deny clemency, Huckabee "affectionately referred" to her father's killer as "Jim".
--Bobby Ray Fretwell, sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly man. Huckabee commuted the sentence to life in prison.
Other notorious clemencies:
--John Henry Claiborne, sentenced to 100 years for robbing two elderly neighbors at gunpoint. The Rev. Charles Williams, pastor of a Little Rock church, wrote a letter to the governor on the inmate’s behalf. “Everybody knows that Mike Huckabee makes up his mind what to do by what God tells him to do,” Williams said later.
--Donald Clark, convicted of nine burglary charges in four counties. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1996. Huckabee commuted his sentence to time served in 2001.
--David Hale, former judge who was sentenced to two years and four months for his role in the Whitewater scandal. Later found guilty of lying to state insurance regulators in a separate case and sentenced to only 21 days in prison. Huckabee commuted the sentence to time served.
--Trent Harmon, Jr., convicted of first-degree battery. Anglin caused permanent brain damage to his victim in 1996 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Huckabee cut the sentence to time served in 2001.
-Elizabeth Diane Hagar, convicted of manslaughter in the 1997 shooting death of her husband. Sentenced to 10 years by the trial judge. Huckabee ordered her release in 2003.
Attempted clemencies that were blocked:
--Don Jeffers, pleaded guilty to first degree murder for a 1980 killing and was sentenced to life in prison. In 2004, Huckabee wanted to make Jeffers immediately eligible for parole. The prosecutor sued Huckabee over this clemency, and a judge voided the clemency.
--Glen Martin Green, who beat an 18-year-old pregnant woman with Chinese martial-arts sticks, raped her as she barely clung to life, ran over her repeatedly with his car, then dumped her in the bayou. He was sentenced to life in prison, but Huckabee was convinced by Rev. Johnny Jackson, who had close ties to Huckabee, that Green had found God and did not mean to kill the woman.
--Dennis Lewis, fatally shot a store owner during a robbery. Huckabee reversed himself in the Green and Lewis clemencies following public outcry.
Huckabee very rarely offered reasons for his numerous clemencies, although he was required by state law to do so. His pattern of clemencies usually fell into four categories:
The justice system treated them more harshly than most.
They knew a person who had known the governor.
They worked at the Governor’s Mansion.
A minister interceded for them.