December 5th, 2007
01:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee faces scrutiny for involvement in rapist parole

Newly published letters are raising questions about how much then-Gov. Huckabee knew about a rapist's history.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As he surges in polls, Mike Huckabee is facing renewed scrutiny over his role in the parole of a convicted rapist who raped and killed a woman after his release.

The murdered woman's mother, Lois Davidson, said she will "absolutely campaign against" Huckabee, and said she decided to come forward when he started doing well in the polls.

"It's because he is a serious contender," Davidson said. "I didn't think he had a chance, but now he's right up there in Iowa."

Huckabee, during his first term as Arkansas governor, expressed support for the parole of Wayne DuMond in a letter to him.

Full story

- CNN’s Dana Bash and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Santosh-Phila

    This could be a serious problem for Huckabee. I read a lot about this casee and this has the potential to be Huckabee's "Willie Horton" downfall.

    Gov. Huckabee has a lot of good traits and his type of compassion is a good thing on issues like what to do with illegal immigrants' children. But this type of story can take his otherwise meritorious quality and stereotype it in a negative twist-showing him as weak or wobbly. That's not going tobe popular with many of the "law & order" conservatives and of course security hawks. I hope he is able to use his gifted political skills to survive this.

    December 5, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Jonathan, Florida

    I guess Huckabee does have a shot at POTUS with the recent attacks increasing. Governors do not "parole" people. The Parole Board does – Governors "pardon" people. Was the guy pardoned? I think not. Good grief...if this is all the liberals can dig up – pretty pathetic. Huffington has an agenda for everything she does. She knows that Huckabee can beat the Clinton machine because he has 4 times already. They are scared of him.

    As for the rapist – he is no longer a threat and I am grieved for the women he attacked.

    December 5, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Mark Mclean, Detroit, MI

    Dumond was not serving a life sentence. The previous governor had commuted the sentence significantly.

    Here is some of why Huckabee thought Dumond was innocent, from a March 2003 report:

    "“No evidence linked DuMond to the teenager’s abduction, forced submission to oral sex, and brief penetration. In the primitive blood-semen testing that had been done (DuMond’s lawyer said a more expensive DNA test wasn’t needed), DuMond’s semen, as a match to a spot on the teen’s jeans, couldn’t be ruled out. (A DNA expert later testified in one of DuMond’s numerous appeals that the spot did not match.)” March, 2003 –,harkavy,22841,1.html

    December 5, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Kate, Stony Brook, NY

    This story sounds as if some information is missing. Why would Huckabee advocate parole for a violent offender? Did he know his family? Was it an acquaintance or friend?

    December 5, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Matt Baker, Chanute Ks

    He denies receiving a Letter from VICTIMS, let alone ONE OF THEM! HMMMM?

    What kind of Morals does a preacher have when he doesnt remember reading a VICTIMS LETTER on a RAPIST that HE IS THINKING of letting loose?


    THIS is WAY UNACCEPTABLE! AND NOW? His campaign says * He received at least ONE, from a victim. * AT LEAST ONE? WOW!

    THIS IS THE GAS that the DEMS/OTHER GOP Candidates was hoping for! THIS IS ABOUT TO BLOW UP in the PREACHERS face!

    MAYBE JESUS should RUN FOR PRESIDENT, seems to me, he would be the only one without sin, BESIDES Ron Paul!

    December 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    It's very interesting how, within a few days of the new posll putting Huckabee near the top, more amd more reports are coming out about his shady past. Where were these stories three weeks ago? The media is completely can we trust them?

    I'm not really a huckabee fan, but I find it obsured and almost offensive how the media will try to manipulate our minds. Or maybe it's just Hillary?

    December 5, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Stacie Nealon, Chicago, Illinois

    Yet another very clear indication that male politicians and judges refuse to recognize the danger posed by rapists and sexual offenders seriously, despite mountains of evidence which tell them quite clearly that men like DuMond are incredibly likely to reoffend.

    If men were in the sort of danger that women face every single day of their lives, and had to live with the fear that we live with, these men would stay locked up for life. This is simply more evidence that men simply don't care about women in this society.

    Huckabee had letters from the victims describing their horrific ordeals, and any number of studies on recidivisim rates for sexual predators at his disposal- he just chose to ignore them. After all, it's *only* rape, right?

    Here's a novel idea. Why don't we put an official end to the "war on drugs" and free up space and resources in the prison system to more effectively deal with criminals like DuMond?

    December 5, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Rory, New York, New York

    This deadly misjudgement will likely be pounced on by cheap political hacks-like Mitt Romney, who will do, say, or believe anything to get himself elected. Romney will likely make what Bush did to Dukakis look like nothing.

    Governor Huckabee needs to get ahead of this story and explain to the country what everyone likely already knows: that this decision haunts him and that there is not a day that goes by that he does not regret his decision.

    If there is any political candidate who can handle this story, it is Mike Huckabee. I'm an Obama-leaning Democrat and I even like Mike.

    Imagine a General Election campaign with Huckabee and Obama as the respective nominees. Articulate and substantive ideas, a respect for one another- America deserves this type of campaign.

    December 5, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Avery, Jacksonville Florida

    As a native Arkansan who was living in Arkansas when this happened I can assure you Governor Huckabee had ample opportunity to see and speak to victims. Some victims even came to his office at the Capitol, begging not to let DuMond out. This case was well and widely known. Previous governors (Clinton and Tucker) were never in favor of release. Tucker only allowed the parole board to consider DuMond's requests. It was Huckabee who urged clemency and let him go, sending DuMond to Missouri because Arkansas wouldn't allow the man to stay in our state.

    December 5, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Kate, Stony Brook, NY

    My goodness, I just visited the Huffington Post website. If indeed the information posted there is correct, I am heartsick.

    In my wildest dreams I could not imagine that political opponents of the Clintons would advocate parole for a violent rapist, using the argument that the rape never occurred because the victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton.

    Huckabee ought to resign now. I always thought Hillary exaggerated when she talked about a "right wing conspiracy." I'm beginning to believe her now.


    December 5, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Independent in IA

    I won't put this in the catagory of 'dirty politiking', but Huckleberry's idiot mentality is showing up in more and more places and if this is an indication of his 'values', I truly pity his supporters. Anyone who thinks a convicted rapist can be reformed and poses no further threat has the mentality of a turkey. Once a rapist...ALWAYS a's only a matter of time.

    December 5, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Frank, San Diego

    I'm not sure what the merits of this new criticism are, but at least its a criticism of the right kind.

    Its entirely reasonable to hold an elected official responsible for his or her record. Executive decisions, like pardons, are the Achilles heel of governors running for higher office. For Senators, its votes on thousands of obscure legislative items, some of which were nonsense from the start and everybody new it. For Mayors, its how they cover up their zipper problems.

    But at least this has nothing to do with the question of whether a particular candidate is sufficiently Christian. Can we please have an end to the Protestant v. Mormon silliness?

    December 5, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. York Durden, Columbia SC

    Huckabee should be facing scrutiny for such absurd comments as "I don't believe in evolution."

    He'll do well in the early primaries, but then again so did Pat Buchanan.

    December 5, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Herb, sauk centre,MN

    More examples of hypocrisy! The most "religous" of the republicas is the most soiled by past behavior and the inability to recall what he did. This is news!?

    December 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Jane, Ann Arbor, MI

    The process leading to Dumond's release did not begin under Clinton. The Clinton family had a distant connection to the family of Ashley Stevens, Dumond's victim, and Bill Clinton recused himself from consideration of any issues involving Dumond.

    Huckabee's handling of the Dumond case shows frightening arrogance in the face of his own total ignorance of the facts regarding not only the Ashley Stevens rape as well as Dumond's lengthy prior violent history. It was and continues to be a level of arrogance that can only be described as, well, George W. Bush-like.

    December 5, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. R. Moore, Raleigh, NC

    What a pointless attack. What conclusions does Huffington hope to make from this evidence? Why would letters from victims or relatives of victims play a role in determining whether a person should be put on parole. The horrible actions of DuMond indicate little to nothing of Huckabee's competence as a president.

    December 5, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Mike N. Houston, TX

    I was living in Arkansas when this went down in '99. Those families begged him not to let DuMond out of prison. Columnists concluded he did it because of spiritual justifications (i.e. Jesus wanted him pardoned). If elected, be afraid – be very afraid.

    December 5, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. AT, san francisco, ca

    As hickabee said it right, when you are ahead, you will be kicked from behind. It appears that his behind will be kicked a bit in the near future.

    December 5, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Victoria Gardner

    Sadly another victim because someone did not believe the victims words.
    Please listen; go to and see how a potential book project could help child and adult victims of crimes, including sexual abuse, abduction, assault or domestic violence. How many more have to die before we do something nationally to educate victims. Project creator is a survivor of child abduction/rape and domestic violence.

    December 5, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    Read Huckabee's response & explanation for this at the site below:

    December 5, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Wade, Appleton Wisconsin

    With Huckabee being the ex governor of Arkansas, and the Clinton's having spent time in the governor's house there, imagine the dirt slinging that will take place if and when these two should square off. Both of these people have dirt on their hands that continues to this day! We'll be left wondering how were stuck with two loser candidates...again! Says alot about the "dumbing down" of the American voter.

    December 5, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Frank Erdman - Austin, Texas

    Yeah I saw this. Interesting. I put this on my blog earlier today:

    December 5, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. AJ, IL

    Even though I saw Huckabee rising to top tier status in Iowa about three months ago, Huckabee has his own 'Willie Horton' debacle to contend with. As more and more stories like these come out about the Republican front-runners, the more the Republican chances for the presidency slip away.

    December 5, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Don, Columbus Ohio

    If you're a Republican and won't accept responsibility for your actions–blame Bill Clinton.

    December 5, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Hawk,Texas

    Another supposedly christian republican trying to cover his own self by accusing bill clinton for starting it. when are these guys going to come clean about them selves.and put the blame where it belongs.

    December 5, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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