Pundits are in a political lather over news that Michael Clemmons — who's suspected of killing of four policemen in Lakewood, Washington on Sunday — was granted clemency after a 1989 conviction of aggravated robbery by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Will Clemmons' alleged crimes end Huckabee's career, or should the former governor be pardoned for his lenience? (Watch an ABC report from the scene of Maurice Clemmons' arrest)
Huckabee – and the system he supports – should be blamed: Spare us Huckabee's "mercy," says Vanderleun at American Digest. He helped create "a society where individuals of obvious depravity are routinely paroled." Clemmons' criminal record speaks volumes about the American justice system's "lack of will…to do anything definitive about the pathological humans that walk among citizens."
"No Guts to Jail the Nuts"
This is Clemmons' fault, not Huckabee's: "It's a shame" that Huckabee is taking so much heat "for trying to give a then-17 year-old kid a break" over 20 years ago, says Sara Libby at True/Slant. If that decision played "a role in the horrific killing of the four officers, it will have been because [Clemmons] wasted that chance – not because somebody decided to give it to him."
"Huckabee Granted Tacoma Shooting Suspect Clemency"
Deservedly or not, Huckabee is going to be blamed: Politicians know that whenever they use their clout "to grant a pardon, commutation or clemency, they risk the political fallout and bear at least some responsibility" if the freed individual commits more crimes, says Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics. If Clemmons is convicted, this heinous crime will "assuredly hang heavy over Huckabee" if he decides to run for president again.
"Killer Bad News for Huckabee"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
Subscribe to the Week