Monday, June 28, 2010

Washington: Stumbling, Bumbling Media

The reports that "prospective 2012 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says he would make the same decision" regarding Maurice Clemmons, "if given the same information he had at the time." But the author of the piece cannot create a complete paragraph without screwing up the facts:
Huckabee commented on his decision that freed Maurice Clemmons in a lengthy profile that appears in the June 28 New Yorker.
No, kucklehead. Read the 1,000 articles written on this topic and see if you can't fact check a little better. Huckabee did not "free" Clemmons in any normal sense of the English language. His commutation of sentence simply made Clemmons eligible for parole/release. An official body of individuals made the decision to release Clemmons, not Huckabee.

Huckabee notes that, when he considered the case, he saw "a twenty seven-year-old put away for a non-weapon burglary and an aggravated robber" with a sentence of |"a hundred and eight years." He observed that convicted murderers had "gone to prison sentenced to less time" and "it made no sense." Huckabee also explained that Clemmons was black, poor and "had a lousy defense attorney." As such, he considered it to be a "a classic example" of why states empower governors with clemency.

Agree or disagree with Huckabee's explanation, it has the feel of a good faith attempt at explaining the reasoning behind his decision making. Contrast this behavior with that of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who is ignoring the unanimous recommendation of her State's Clemency Board to release a man it believes is innocent! Brewer will give no one (including the Board) an explanation for her decision, calling the 30 plus year imprisonment of William Macumber "a private matter." See story here.

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