Skip to comments.Huckabee Was Correct and America Needs Such Principled Leadership
Posted on 12/05/2009 11:19:27 PM PST by Yomin Postelnik
click here to read article
It is interesting that your article closes with a lie:
“Commuting a 108 year sentence for robbery that was handed down to a youth who was 16 at the time of his crimes is an example of fairness, and of nothing else.”
I think what sticks in the craw of many of us has been Huckabee’s absolute unwillingness to accept any personal responsibility for the role he played in the misery unleashed upon innocent people.
Is Huckabee solely responsible? Certainly not but he did get things rolling and for his part he’s only willing to point out the failures of others further down the disastrous chain of events.
If Clemmons came from a law-abiding family, and he was just a "wayward youth", maybe, just maybe Huck could make a case. However, I can bet that many in Clemmons immediate family are and were felons (they are now, for sure), and I would think that a Governor would consider who the heck is going to influence this guy after he gets clemency.
But of course, Huck didn't think about this -- he only saw race (look at how Huck is excusing his actions with Geraldo) and felt sorry for Clemmons, and now because of that, 4 police officers are now dead -- that's the bottom line.
Clemmons claimed he had 'found God'. Huckabee's soft spot.
I agree with your post 100%.
You are just incapable of being honest aren't you?
Perhaps I explained it wrong. His total from the eight felonies added up to 108 years. Huckabee was so wrong that it’s hard to believe how much wronger a person could be. I doubt if I could live with myself, but I guess the kind of person who could inflict a violent offender on society should be expected to be more interested in saving his miserable political skin than expressing dire remorse.
Assuming he got the maximum sentence for each felony and the sentences were to be served consecutively.
It was way overboard. I've never heard of something like that happening to a teenager.
John duPont was sentenced to just 13 to 30 years in prison. John Hinckley only served 32 years in prison.
From your link:
Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.
“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.
It appears that in Arkansas, prison sentences are given out almost in dog years. From what I've read, the parole board is a pretty easy group of folks, and once you're eligible for parole, you need to do something pretty nasty to be denied it.
Thus, one must evaluate Mr. Clemmons’ “108-year” sentence in light of his first parole date, which I've read to be in 2015. From 1989 or 1990, that's not 108 years. That's not even half of 108 years. It's about 26 years, or about a little less than quarter of the sentence.
I've never heard of a state where you need to serve less than one-quarter of your sentence to be ordinarily eligible for parole.
Gov. Huckabee acted in a way that strongly suggests that he knew the parole board would parole just about anyone eligible, as when he commuted Mr. Clemmons’ sentence to 47 years, 5 months and 19 days, it made Mr. Clemmons eligible for parole as of the day of the commutation, even though he only served about 11 years or so. The parole board released Mr. Clemmons a few weeks later.
Thus, it's disingenuous to argue that Mr. Clemmons received a 108-year sentence, and thus would spend the rest of his life in prison. Rather, he was handed down a sentence that was formally 108 years, but that would likely require 26 years of incarceration.
One hundred eight years IS a little excessive for three brutal assaults, a couple of robberies, a fairly significant breaking, entering and burglary, weapons charges, and violent and attempted violent attacks against prison and judicial personnel.
But truthfully, 26 years seems a little on the light side.
And 11 years is a mockery of justice.
Mr. Clemmons brutally assaulted a SEVENTH grader. That's a child about 12 years old. He beat a woman for $16 and beat a man for a piece of jewelry. This is a fellow who needs little incentive to hurt people.
While awaiting trial, he took apart a door to make the door hinge into a weapon, he tried to assault a guard with a lock, he tried to steal a guard’s firearm, and he so credibly threatened the judge in his case that the judge had him appear in court in leg shackles.
This is not someone who received 108 years for a couple of thefts and a burglary. This is someone who effectively received 26 years for a series of brutal assaults followed by attempts to escape incarceration by harming prison and judicial personnel.
When I described the series of crimes to my family, my son said, “This is the sort of person we build prisons for.”
Ironically, if Mr. Clemmons had been left in prison to his original parole date in 2015, he'd still be alive today, the little girl would not have been raped, and four police officers would not have been brutally murdered.
Twenty-six years in prison for a string of violent crimes and a string of attempted violence while in custody is far from unreasonable.
By the way, John Hinckley didn't serve a prison sentence, not of 32 years or of any other length.
He was acquitted of attempted assassination of the president by reason of insanity and is committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. At this point, after 28 years (not 32), he is now permitted out on to see his mother nine days at a time, and his restrictions have been otherwise loosened. Nonetheless, he is still a residential patient at the hospital.
In most states a juvenile -- which would be anyone under the age of 18 in most states -- would not be tried as as adult for a series of robberies especially if weapons or extended hospital stays were not involved.
Further, in just about any other state, the sentences would not be consecutive but concurrent if it was deemed an adult trial was warranted. Since it looks like about 13.5 years per crime -- and I assume they were giving him the max -- he would have been out in about four years which would be an expected sentence for a first-time adult offender for such crimes.
I agree that Huckabee expected Clemmons to be freed on parole which, of course, is not the same as a pardon.
You are quite right that Hinckley was not sentenced. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and incarcerated for 32 years for attempting to kill the president and crippling another man for life.
That should be 28 years.
There are plenty of crimes “other than murder” for which individuals, including teenagers, should have the key thrown away on them, if not more draconian (Draculan?) punishment. IMHO
So what. The judge was an ass as well.
The 17 year old had already been sentenced to 108 years in prison. Huckabee's commutation wound up giving only 11 years to this dangerous person? Where is Huckabee serving God's justice in this? God is merciful and just.
Liberals forget about the justice part of the equation.
Mr. Clemmons, by the time he’d received his really big sentence of 60 years for burglary and stealing a weapon, was no longer a first time offender. In fact, as far as I can tell, this was at least his third time (and maybe his fifth) in front of a judge for sentencing on separate incidents, having already made trips for carrying a weapon on to school property, and for three nasty assaults, two of which included robbery. By the time he was sentenced for the burglary, he'd already been tried and convicted on separate occasions for a weapons charge on school property, assaulting three folks and robbing two of them. The burglary was his fifth set of felonies. In some states, that would mandate life in prison.
In my neck of the woods, which is not a very conservative place [Maryland], a juvenile will usually get tried as a juvenile the first time around. However, probably not for carrying a firearm on school property. Whether it's in spite of or because Maryland is a rather liberal state, prosecutors aren't very tolerant of that offense. But someone convicted of that alone might be tried as an adult and might escape jail or prison, or at least, not get much time.
However, by the third or fourth felony, especially since several of these crimes were at the age of 17, would likely wind up tried as an adult and start receiving significant sentences.
As well, doing things like trying to take a guard’s firearm, or using other items as weapons against guards, or credibly and seriously threatening a sitting judge, might also increase the sentences that one might receive for the crimes for which one was convicted.
Where I live, a person like this wouldn’t get 108 years, but he might easily get a few dozen years, and would be expected to serve more than half his time.
“He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and incarcerated for 32 years for attempting to kill the president and crippling another man for life.”
He was not incarcerated. He was committed to a mental hospital for as long as he remains insane and a danger to others. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up dying at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, but it’s false to say that he was incarcerated for attempting to kill the president, etc. He was indefinitely committed as a danger to himself and others.
In that he committed these acts in 1981, he hasn’t been at St. E’s for 32 years, as the acts were only committed 28 years and some months ago.
Hmm perhaps....Well how do you know his sentence DID turn him into a rapist & murderer? Or a violent maniac... Perhaps he had it in him all along. I don't believe his jail sentence had anything to do with it. He should have done his time & not been released. Some people belong in jail & can't be rehabilitated.
Look at Joseph Duncan. His first recorded sex crime occurred in 1978 in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington, when he was 15 years old. In that incident he raped a 9-year-old boy at gunpoint, and the following year he was arrested driving a stolen car. It goes on & on....
Had a judge done his duty & kept this MONSTER in jail from the start many innocent people would be alive today. How do you think Shasta Groene feels? Is her life ever going to be normal????
IF YOU CAN'T DO THE TIME DON'T, DO THE CRIME!
Sorry - WA gave ridiculously low bail in an iron clad case of child rape, for which Clemmons should have been executed on the spot - for the hyper-technical.
That still has nothing to do with Huckabee’s rightheaded decision to commute his sentence when he was only a 16&17 year old robber and petty thief who had served 11 years. And yes, human nature and statistics show that such over the top sentences have often created monsters - which we must now try to avoid.