November 30th, 2009
09:30 AM ET
10 years ago

Huckabee responds to Washington shootings

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee released a statement Sunday night amid news the former Arkansas governor commuted the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, the man suspected of fatally shooting four Washington state police officers.

“The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and Washington State.

The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within. Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State.

He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990. This commutation making him parole eligible and was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him.

It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state.This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.”


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. J.Crobuzon

    Willie Horton, eh?

    November 30, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Ryan

    I live in Seattle and we all pretty much agree – Thanks for not keeping this psycho behind bars and instead sending him to WA Mr. Huckabee... with friends like you....

    Oh and IF he's found guilty??? The guy has a track record a mile long and was convicted on everything before, including child-raoe!!!

    Mike Huckabee, watching you protect your ass is like watching you govern.

    November 30, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. independent

    Regardless of who did or said what, or when, this is a tragic event. My families thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those slain in this senseless, and perhaps psychotic, act.

    November 30, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Larry

    Seems like Huckabee is covering his behind. Blame everyone else.
    Looks like he would make a typical candiate for public office.

    November 30, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why is he commenting on this? Why are his comments of any level of importance over those of a member of the police in Washington State or the governmental officials there? I don't want to hear from him, and I would rather see what the Washington officals say (governor and parole board).

    November 30, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. steve

    Well, the good news is he has 3 years to spin this "Willie Horton moment" to a positive light!

    November 30, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. johnny

    Mike Huckabee your political career has left the building.

    November 30, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. susan

    hello Huckabee – own up to your part – that you commuted his sentence. If you had not done that, these cops would have returned home last night to their families. You are such a political person – blame everything on others without taking responsibility for your part. You don't deserve respect – better forget about running – I am sure people won't forget what you did that cost 4 lives and we will work to support your opponent to keep you from winning.

    November 30, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Joseph

    Mike Huckabee you are one true politician. How does your conscience feel knowing you had something to do with commuting this maniacs sentence. I hope every politician thinks twice when commuting a sentence.

    November 30, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. josie decierdo

    Who were you trying to please when you pardoned this man in 1990? You should be baptized in blood, then incarcerated.

    November 30, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. Steve C

    Huckabee blamed everyone but himself. He's probably a lawyer himself.
    Watch the movie "Law Abiding Citizen". This is not far from the truth. We have a horrible "Justice" system. Punishment is arbitrary, and if you have wealth, it is even easier to avoid any consequences. Terrible. And how many innocents have been executed in the name of vengeance. When DNA testing is done, hundred of inmates already are found to be excluded from any possibility of being the perpetrator. How did they end up in prison in the first place? Justice? ha!

    November 30, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. independent


    Big difference between 'strong religious beliefs', which I myself have, and being an ordained minister. Would you want a Catholic Priest, or Bishop, running for President?

    November 30, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. C from middle GA

    And there are people who think he has the cojones for the highest office in the US? Who would he commute/pardon then?

    November 30, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My heart goes out to the families of the four police officers. You couldn't pay me what they pay law enforcement personnel and EXPECT ME to respond to a 911 call where people are beign shot at. Yet these brave men and women do it day in and day out. It takes a special kind of person to be a GOOD police officer. That said, hindsight is a a perfect science. The phrase " who knew?" comes to mind. I am also reminded of the judge in New Jersey who let the man threatening the President WALK with his 70 guns to be picked up by the DEFENDANT at a later time!

    There is something horrifically sick and twisted about a man who was pardoned by the governor, going around committing these heinous crimes, as opposed to applying himself to make amends by becoming a model citizen. Crazy cannot be pinpointed. You put benchmarks in place to see it coming, and still, in spite of the judicial system's best efforts some slide on through.

    November 30, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Huckabee's statement is inadequate in light of the tragic loss of the officers. He played a part in the break down of the criminal justice system and will be judged by the voters.

    November 30, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Looks like the preacher has a lot of praying for forgiveness on his plate.

    November 30, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. greg

    The blood of four police officers on his hands. No decent person could ever vote for this man.

    November 30, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Terry from West Texas

    I like Huckabee, even if he is a Conservative. He's intelligent and honest, which separates him from most Republican leaders. No governor can know in advance which parolee is going to re-offend. We can't keep everyone in jail for life for every crime. We release many prisoners on parole and some of the – but not all – re-offend. You can't blame Huckabee for what happened in Washington.

    For those who believe that every law-breaker is a recidivist, let's consider this. What if we cancelled the driver's license of every first-time speeder for life? What if we expel for life any student who is late with his homework?

    I'm not defending Huckabee. I'm trying to inject some reason into the discussion. Many people believe that our courts and prisons deliberately release people who they know will re-offend, which is – of course – crazy thinking.

    November 30, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. billy123

    WOW even the GOP Governor can make a horrible mistake. Now maybe he will not go on ramp aganist the Dems.

    November 30, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  20. Fitz in Texas

    My heart and prayers goes out to the family and friends of these four fine Police Officers. I admire our police, fire, EMS and military. They know they have a dangerous job, yet they get up in the morning to do it to keep us safe. Thank you....each and everyone of you.

    RIP brothers.

    November 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. Nathan,

    If this had been a Democrat or a liberal who let this cop killer out of prison Huckabee, Fox News, and the rest of the conservatives would be all over the airwaves talking about how Democrats are soft on crime.

    November 30, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Club Sandwich with mayo

    Good. We don't want Huckabee or his ilk taking away science from our classrooms and spreading hate.

    November 30, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. robert B. Hunter

    Huckabee had recieved information early Sunday that Maurice Clemmons is the alleged killer of 4 police offivers in the State of Washington. Hucabee as the Gov. Of Arkansas had commuted this man,s prison sentence. This then has created for the Governor, a no win situation and he knows it.

    November 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Huckabee is responsible.....

    for these police way for him to be a presidential candidate....

    November 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. rw

    Mike Dukakis and the pardon. Down home Mikie H and his pardon. Was that issue on Fox News? Probably not. Betcha though it was in Mikie H's mind because he can see the ad right now.

    November 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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