Dec. 2, 2009 The former religious leader and Presidential candidate in 2008 for the republicans Mike Huckabee was the Governor of Arkansas in the year 2000, and he was the man who pardoned Maurice Clemmons who was arrested for robbery.
Huckabee Released a Hardened Criminal Sentenced to 99 Years in Prison
Maurice Clemmons already had a arm’s length rap sheet full of previous and numerous offenses and charges and was a hardened career criminal who was given 99 years in jail by one judge. These are not the type of offenders you let out on the street again as we say with the Connecticut slayings of a mom and her two daughters by Steven Hayes. See CNN Trial Sept. 10, 2010.
Clemmons like Steven Hayes made a career out of criminal activity from robbery, rape, theft, burglary, arson and continued their criminal activities all their lives.
Clemmons at the time of Huckabee’s pardon, had been given 95 years in prison which is where he should have been on Sunday November 29, 2009 when he shot in cold blood four police officers in Lakewood, Washington.
Huckabee took it upon himself to have a schedule of clemencies while the Governor’s office that worked out to 1 pardon every four days of his term.
Was Huckabee just being a religious forgiving kind of guy or was he soft on crime or both is anyone’s guess. But pardoning a career criminal after a sentence that long overriding what a judge had ordered, was a big mistake that cost four police officers lives.
The Sequence of Events
May 3, 2000 Huckabee changes Clemmons sentence from 108 years to 47 years, making him eligible for parole.
August 1, 2000 Clemmons is released from jail a free man. On March 1, 2001 Clemmons committed a robbery again and was convicted again.
In 2004, he was granted parole again. He moved to Tahoma Washington where he married but was still considered by authorities asa “High Risk Re-Offender”.
Also in 2004 Maurice Clemmons went on a spree facing eight felony charges but was released one week ago from the Peirce County Jail after he or someone posted bail and he was on the street again.
in 2009 he was arrested again for two sexual assault charges against two girls 12 years old and one was only 10 years old. After a mental health evaluation he was said to have experienced hallucinations and that people were cannibals. On a mental competency study he was found to be mentally competent to stand trial and was again released on a 15,000 down payment on a bond of $190,000.
On November 26, 2009 Clemmons failed to check in with his parole officer within just 24 hours of his release. He showed two handguns he apparently had his hands on and said he would shoot police officers with the guns.
He then drove his truck to Forza Coffee Company in Tacoma, say marked police patrol cars in the parking lot. He walked into the coffee shop and shot four police officers either in the head or the neck in an execution style shooting.
On December 1, 2009 police in Seattle shot and killed Clemmons dead when he was stopped along side a road with a disabled car.
Four police officers were gunned down due to Huckabee’s initial misrepresentations that Clemmons was eligible for parole and had rehabilitated himself. Huckabee could have stopped his and overlooked this prisoner for offering any clemency during his term as Governor in Arkansas. Huckabee also destroyed all his records as Governor, and files on computers for some reason before he left office.
The most tragic part of the misjudgments of this man was based on Governor Huckabee’s recommendations, which were entirely fabricated. Others judges looked upon Clemmons with the same view as Huckabee and gave him far too many chances at parole which should have never been granted.
Photo of Maurice Clemmons
Clemmons was also previously arrested for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl in Pierce County and 3rd degree assaults on police officers.
When Governor Huckabee granted Clemmons a pardon, he knew damn well that this guy had a history of criminal activities. Huckabee forgot to do his homework on this case or was trying to empty out the jails thereby endangering the public safety.
The fact that the GOP are hoping on Huckabee to be their candidate for the 2012 Presidential election will have to revisit this soft on crime policy, when Huckabee was a Governor of Arkansas.
Updated: December 29, 2010
From Wikipedia: Governor Huckabee had a “Plethora of Pardons” during his stint as a Governor of Arkansas, quote:
“As governor Huckabee commuted and accepted recommendations for pardon for twice as many sentences as his three predecessors combined, in total 1,033 prisoners. Twelve of those had previously been convicted of murder. Huckabee’s pardons and commutations became an issue during the 2008 Republican Primary, with most of the controversy focusing on Wayne Dumond. Huckabee’s handling of clemency petitions received national attention in November 2009 with the case of Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons had committed burglary without a weapon, and whose Huckabee had commuted his 60-year sentence Huckabee to 47 years, making him eligible for parole if approved by the parole board.
The prosecuting attorney of Pulaski County, Arkansas vehemently objected to the commutation. As factors in his decision, Huckabee cited the unusually long sentence of 108 years for Clemmons, who was 17 at the time, that Clemmons had already served 11 years of jail time, the unanimous decision by the bipartisan state pardon board in Clemmons’s favor, and the original trial judge’s support for clemency. When Clemmons received the 60-year sentence, he already was serving 48 years on five felony convictions and facing up to 95 more years on charges of robbery, theft and possessing a handgun on school property.  After his release in 2000 Clemmons was arrested a number of times for multiple offenses including child molestation and aggravated assault, but was released after prosecutors declined to file charges. On November 29, 2009, four police officers were murdered in Lakewood, Washington, and Clemmons was the only suspect. Following a manhunt for Clemmons, a Seattle police officer shot him dead on December 1, 2009. ” end quote.