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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Don't blame Huck!

Four police officers and a real estate mini-magnate are dead in Seattle, Washington, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is being blamed for it.

Or perhaps I should say that an alleged felon who allegedly used to be an inmate in an alleged prison in the alleged state of Arkansas while Mike Huckabee was allegedly the governor has allegedly shot some alleged police officers. Now, have we gotten enough allegations out of the way so that we can speak plainly from here on out? No, I guess I need to say that another alleged police officer went on to allegedly murder the alleged murderer, so that case is now closed. Except that no one is alleging that murder was involved this time, as the suspect allegedly didn't freeze when the alleged officer allegedly told him not to move, which invokes the self defense clause (why is it that police officers, the only people allowed to carry loaded guns inside city limits, are such poor shots that they're allowed to shoot first and then check to see if the corpse was even armed? If I ever turn out to be a firearm fatality, it will probably be because I was reaching for my driver's license and the arresting officer had such a low confidence in his ability to defend himself that he shot me full in the chest, just in case I had a firearm tucked inside my billfold). There, that should take care of all the allegations, and then some.

The point is that Marice Clemmons would not have been able to kill anyone were he still in an Arkansas prison. And that is where he should be today, because Governor Huckabee only brought forward his release date from 2098 to 2047. That's right, if prison sentences mean anything, Maurice Clemmons should have been kept locked up for crimes committed as a teenager until he was 75 years old.

But that's not how it happened. Reducing his 'prison term' from 108 years to 47 meant that Clemmons walked free, on parole. Let's see how well he's stayed out of trouble so far in the first 9 years of his parole:
-He committed robbery and theft in 2001, for which he was given another 10 years of warp time, but his attorney was able to convince the judge that it somehow didn't qualify as breaking parole. By the time the dust had settled he was back on parole, two paroles this time being served concurrently. This is kind of like having to write "I will not throw spitwads in class" 1000 times on the blackboard, all concurrently.
-He committed sexual assault in Washington State, at which time he was recommended to be returned to serve out a few more days of his original Arkansas sentence. The official in Arkansas, no longer involved in a Huckabee administration, said that Arkansas didn't want him back. Washington already had plenty of evidence to lock him up for a long time.
-He was subjected to a psychological exam at Western State Hospital, which concluded that he was a grave danger to society. But they sent him back home to prepare for his trial, once he was able to raise the paltry $15,000 it took to bail him out (despite his long record of failing to appear in court).

If Mike Huckabee bears any blame for Maurice Clemmons' actions on November 29, 2009, he has a lot of people to share it with--foremost of all, those who cooked the books on prison sentences to render them essentially meaningless. Ironically, even had Mr. Clemmons lived to stand trial for the four police murders, and probably even if he was convicted, he would still be eligible for parole before 2047, the date Governor Huckabee (and I'm going to mean it this time when I say this) allegedly set for him to be released from prison for burglary and other acts of teenage hoodlumry.

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