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furlough programs, commutations and pardons BACKLASH

November 30, 2009

What do Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee have in common?  Policies that come back to bite their ass.  All good intentions aside, any attempt to grant “Second Chance” to convicted felons is ‘Russian Roulette” at best and guaranteed political suicide, always. The touchy feely era is over in this country. Mental illness and felonies are closely related. The economy, the wars, the increased polarization of opinions have brought even more mental illness to the surface.  Denial of mental problems should no longer be tolerated.  The mental health industry needs a serious boost to deal with the mental deterioration plaguing this country.  Maurice Clemmons was a mentally unstable felon.  Where was his follow up?  Where was his parole officer? Where was the mental health infrastructure that could have defused this violent explosion?  This slaughter, as are the recent slaughters, are warning flags being waved by a society devolving.  Frustration morphing into violence and a health system that picks and chooses who to treat.

In wake of Wash. shootings, Huckabee facing hard questions about parole record

The shooting deaths Sunday of four police officers in a Tacoma, Wash., suburb and the ensuing manhunt for the suspect have renewed scrutiny of the pardon record of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R), who commuted the accused gunman’s prison term nine years ago, leading to his release.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, he faced similar questions over the release from prison of a convicted rapist named Wayne DuMond, who was convicted of another rape and murder.

Huckabee is one of the Republican Party’s most popular figures, but he has been dogged by questions over the more than 1,000 commutations and pardons he issued — more than his three predecessors combined — during his 10-year tenure.

Maurice Clemmons, man wanted for questioning, has troubling criminal history

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.

Suspect in cop-killings eludes police dragnet

The manhunt came as authorities in two states took heat for the fact that Clemmons was allowed to walk the streets despite a teenage crime spree in Arkansas that landed him a 95-year prison sentence. He was released in 2000 after then-Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentence.

“This guy should have never been on the street,” said Brian D. Wurts, president of the police union in Lakewood, where all four slain officers worked. “Our elected officials need to find out why these people are out.”

Republicans pounded Dukakis, claiming he had let Horton loose to ‘terrorize innocent people’ and continued support of the furlough program.

What will Democrats do about Huckabee? December 2007 LA Times CAMPAIGN ’08:

Parole officials: Huckabee pushed rapist’s release – Former Arkansas governor says he didn’t free the man who later killed at least one woman, but board members say they felt pressured.

Freed rapist: A photo caption with an article in Saturday’s Section A about Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s involvement with the case of rapist Wayne DuMond while Huckabee was governor of Arkansas said DuMond suffocated a mother of six after he was released. The victim was a mother of three. —

Mike Huckabee’s Willie Horton? Political commentary from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Huckabee’s ‘Willie Horton moment’ By Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist

After all the finger pointing and hand wringing is over, will there be any serious attempt to address the epidemic of depression, PTSD, bi-polar disorder, and general paranoia?  With the approach of 2012 there will be an entire population that overtly and covertly embraces the ‘end of times’ phenomenon.  Media hype, documentaries and motion pictures are all making a fortune describing every possible disaster scenario that surrounds 2012.  A lot of people are beginning to take it seriously.  Looking at annihilation gives some people a free ticket to act out their darkest fantasies.  This meltdown must be taken seriously, because we are watching it happen right now.  The ‘what the hell’ attitude will grab a lot of people and let them do things they would never have dreamed of in an accountable society.

Huckabee on Clemmons

In a statement this evening, Mike Huckabee distanced himself from the release of Maurice Clemmons, a subject of investigation in the murder of four police officer in Washington State:

Michelle Malkin: Violent felon granted clemency by Huckabee now sought in Lakewood, WA police ambush; Update: Huck PAC posts statement; Update: Search continues; how Clemmons played Arkansas; Update: Huck whitewashes on O’Reilly (and vice versa)

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