Fred Thompson-N-Mo

From the Missouri House of Representatives’ Former Speaker Pro Tem

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Huckabee and Green

Posted by tommyd4 on December 10, 2007

From the Arkansas News Bureau in 2004:

Gov. Mike Huckabee said Wednesday that his religious background and belief in redemption played a key role in the high number of state prisoners he has pardoned or turned loose early.

“I would not deny that my sense of the reality of redemption is a factor,” the former Baptist pastor said in a radio interview with KUAR in Little Rock. “And I don’t know that I can apologize for that because I would hate to think of the kind of human I would be if I thought people were beyond forgiveness and beyond reformation and beyond some sense of improvement.”

The governor has been criticized publicly by prosecutors in Pulaski and Saline counties for his release of violent criminals.

“Let’s face it, I give a reason every time I do one of these, but it may not be as extensive as a publicity-seeking prosecutor is going to want,” Huckabee said. “How much information do they give when they plea bargain?”

Why is it that Huckabee always attacks the messenger?

In 2004, the Arkansas Board of Parole reviewed 77 clemency cases, and 74 of them were considered to be without merit. Included in the 74 cases considered to be without merit was the case of Glen Green. Here is the link to the ARBOP report that includes Greene’s case.

Governor Huckabee, at the time, rejected the Boards opinion and decided that he would grant Green Clemency. Eventually, pressure forced Huckabee to relent on his decision. If this was an isolated case, then it could be considered a grave oversight, but it is just one out of many cases where Huckabee used questionable judgement when deciding whether to grant clemency.

Huckabee’s criteria for granting clemency was, at the minimum, unclear:

Until Tuesday, Huckabee didn’t even demand that these killers admit their guilt before asking for clemency. The Rev. Johnny Jack-son, who had arranged the aborted clemency deal for Glen Green with his friend the governor, describes Green as a humble Christian man – apparently one of Huckabee’s criteria for clemency.
But the state requires that a killer express remorse for his actions, which Green refuses to do, calling the murder “an accident.” The Rev. Jackson says he accepts Green’s “account of the incident”

How can one express remorse over a crime this brutal and be believed?

Green, a 22-year-old sergeant, kidnapped Helen Lynette Spencer on Little Rock Air Force Base, where he beat and kicked her as he tried to rape her in a secluded area. She broke loose and ran toward the barracks’ parking lot, where he caught up with her and beat her with a pair of nunchucks.
He then stuffed her into the trunk of his car and left her there while he cleaned up. Several hours later, he drove down Graham Road, past Loop Road and stopped near a bridge in Lonoke County. Green told investigators he put her body in the front seat and raped her because her body was still warm.
He dragged Spencer out of his vehicle and put her in front of the car and ran over her several times, going back and forth. He then collected himself long enough to dump her body in Twin Prairie Bayou.

Huckabee eventually had to rescind the clemency from pressure he was facing; DuMond deja vu?

After weeks of pressure from victims’ families, prosecutors and this column, Gov. Huckabee has changed his mind about granting clemency to several murderers, including a psychopath who killed a Gravel Ridge woman.

“I’ve thought about it a great deal and now realize that the greater good is served if a more detailed reason is provided,” said Huckabee, who will face a hostile Legislature next year that will almost certainly clip his clemency powers.

It’s a humiliating retreat for a governor who thought he was unstoppable. Until yesterday, he said his critics were politically ambitious prosecutors, but when prosecutors from his own party spoke out against his clemencies, Huckabee realized that if he didn’t back down, he’d hurt the Arkansas Republican Party for a generation.

The DuMond case could possibly end in a he said/she said stalemate. The Democrat parole board vs. Huckabee’s word. The problem is that Huckabee, as governor, used the same line of defense until even the republicans turned on him in 2004. Today, he has gone back to that same line of defense with the media picking up on the DuMond story. With Green, maybe his change of mind is enough to silence some critics, but the fact is that it took pressure from his own prosecutors, lawyers, and party to finally say that enough is enough.

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