About . . . . Classes . . . . Books . . . . Vita . . . . Blog. . . . Podcast

by Peter Moskos

November 30, 2009

"This is the day I've been dreading for a long time"

And it's the fault of the Republicans!

Imagine the conservative anger if Maurice Clemmons--armed robber, child rapist, messianic apocalypse believer, bad neighbor, and now cop killer--had been been granted clemency by some Democratic governor! Some criminal-loving cop-hating commie Democrat politician.

Maybe with proper mental health care this never would have happened. Clemmons is clearly a guy who needed to be confined in a prison or mental hospital. And maybe if it weren't for some of the other 2.3 million people behind bars (like the drug offenders), Clemmons would still be incarcerated.

Regardless, I'm happy that the governor who commuted his lengthy prison sentence "over the protests of prosecutors" is a Republican. Do I think Mike Huckabee is personally at fault? No. At least no more than Michael Dukakis was to blame for Willie Horton.

Had Huckabee been a Democrat, Republicans would be having a field day going after him. Would a Democrat have done something differently and prevented many horrible crimes? No. But at least now I don't have to listen to some dumbass Republicans blaming Democrats for these cops' deaths.

[update: Huckabee is getting plenty of heat for this.]


Jeff N said...

It is somewhat different than the Dukakis/Horton situation.

Dukakis approved the program, weekend furloughs for lifers, not the individual.

Huckabee specifically approved the person, Clemmons, to go free. It's not the first person he granted clemency to that ended up going out and killing people either. Wayne Dumond, serial rapist, ended up raping and killing again 6 weeks after Huckabee set him free.

The conservative blogs I read are tearing him up about this today.

Sgt. T said...

While I don't disagree about Huckabee holding one for this, there were a lot of failures after that point. Among the greatest hits: A)Setting a bond that low on someone facing a life sentence and B)Releasing him even though there was an outstanding felony warrant in AK. But hey, I guess that box they checked on his bond conditions that said he couldn't possess firearms worked like f'ing magic.

Unknown said...

Republicans ARE having a field day going after him. He's getting blasted.

PCM said...

Well I'll be!

Good for the Republicans.

Too bad they're throwing one of their best possible 2012 candidates under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Proper mental health care? More like an exorcism.

I don't know about Baltimore, but on my department, half the time we feel like an extension of the mental health department. A hefty portion of our call volume is dedicated to responding to and evaluating situations regarding whether a person's mental health (or lack thereof) places them in a position to be a threat of harm to themselves or another person. If so, it's into protective custody and off to a brief vacation at the local loony bin. They emerge 72 hours later pumped full of meds and even more 10-96 (our ten-code for crazy) than when they went in.

It's a revolving door. Kinda like our criminal justice system. On that note, I believe no one can "be" rehabilitated (or "cured" of their mental defect or disease) because people must choose to rehabilitate themselves, and, sadly, that is a decision made only be a few.

In any event, if this waste of space Clemmons sat before my bench as a judge, I hope I'd have had the intuition to classify him under the "almost definitely for sure hopeless" file and not look back. Clemency would not cross my mind.

Sometimes these judges and governors get off on comparing themselves to Jesus by being merciful, but how about a little balance here, come on. (I'm speaking here to Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Marion Humphrey, who supported Clemmons in urging for his clemency and later ultimately married Clemmons in his chambers. Humphrey was interviewed on CNN last night and, while I only caught bits and pieces of the interview, it sounded like Humphrey was comparing himself to Jesus in granting mercy to people like Clemmons. Please tell me I misheard or misinterpreted this. Please.)

If you really want to be like God, sometimes you have to exercise a little judgment, too. And you gotta protect all us sheep out there from the wolves like Clemmons. There's more to being like Jesus than being merciful. How many cheeks to we have to turn? Widen your horizon, would ya? See the big picture?

Please? So something like this doesn't happen again???

Jeff N said...

Huckabee got softball treatment on O’Reilly. He blamed other prosecutors and judges while downplaying his ill-considered judgment. There was no discussion of Huck’s long, controversial record on mass clemencies that resulted in more innocent victims of brutal crimes. And O’Reilly unbelievably praised Huckabee for his openness in explaning clemency decisions

Well I guess not all conservatives are blasting him.