Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ED: xiv. Maurice Clemmons, Huckabee's Willie Horton

The Background

A deranged ex-con named Maurice Clemmons (aka Clemens or Clements) walked into a Lakewood, WA coffee shop one fine Sunday morning and shot four cops to death. During the assassination, one of the cops got off a shot and hit him in the chest.

Clemmons' friends and family helped him evade the cops for nearly two days and tried to tend to his wound. While it was clear Clemmons was facing imminent death from his wound, the cops finally tracked him down to the corner of Kenyon Street and 44th Avenue in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood. When dealing with cop-killers, the policy is generally shoot-first and ask questions later, and that's exactly what happened.

Clemmons is dead, and about eight of his closest friends are going before The Man to answer for their aid of him.

The Twist

Clemmons is not from here, but from the land of my ancestors: Arkansas. He was a very bad man, committing several violent felonies and eventually finding himself in prison facing what effectively was a 108-year sentence.

Enter theocrat and douchebag-supreme Mike Huckabee, who was governor at the time. For some inexplicable reason, Huckabee went through the dregs of the criminal justice system and cut their sentences down dramatically. In the case of Clemmons, Huckabee reduced his sentence to approximately 46 years. Huckabee cited the fact that Clemmons was only 17 when he was sentenced and decided to give him one more chance. Since Clemmons had served 10 years at that point, he was eligible for what used to be called "parole," but is now called "community supervision."

Clemmons got his CS case transferred to Washington, and he moved to Tacoma a few years ago. He was supposed to be on CS until 2015. However, he kept screwing up, and eventually he was arrested on other charges. They offered him bail pending his revocation hearing, which he posted. Then he went out and shot four cops.

The Scurry

Huckabee, knowing he'd probably be held to account for his strange choice of clemency, fired a pre-emptive shot. He blames it on everyone he can blame it on--Arkansas prosecutors, Arkansas courts, Washington prosecutors and law-enforcement, Washington DOC, etc., etc. Everyone but himself.

One little problem--Larry Jegley, the Pulaski County, AR prosecutor who saw Clemmons locked up in the first place--was constantly on record objecting to Huckabee's decision. Oops.

Second little problem--Pierce County, WA sheriffs had done due diligence in locking him up.

Third little problem--DOC had, in fact, followed their due diligence in requesting a revocation hearing. The rules that applied to Clemmons (because of the date of his original crime) guaranteed him bail pending this hearing.

So, sorry Mike, the fingers all point back at you. He dug deeper anyway, releasing this little tantrum.

Not willing to give up the shovel, last night he went on Fox News to whine some more.

Nixon's Law

I call this little problem "Nixon's Law", which is:
Coverups and buck-passing always cost far more than apologies.
This is a reference to Watergate, of course. Had Nixon said, "Whoops, that was bad, and I've punished/fired the men responsible," he probably would've served two terms. Or at least finished his first one. But the heel-dragging and coverups and blame-passing ruined his Presidency.

So goes Huckabee's Presidential aspirations, we can hope.

Willie Horton

In case you don't know who Willie Horton is and why he was significant: Wikipedia.

We must not let Huckabee get out from under this. These four slayings should dog him for the rest of his political career and drown out his voice.

Gosh, that sounds kind of tacky. Unfortunately, this is what full-contact politics lead to. I didn't ask for this world, but if that's the way the right wants to play ball, then that's what they're going to get from me--a gigantic shit sandwich.

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