I sense that in at least one aspect, the former Governor’s religious beliefs have been applied to governmental decisions in a way that may have allowed him to personally practice and adhere to his personal religious faith but to the detriment of government’s responsibility to public safety. This conclusion is not reached in haste. It is one that is not based solely on Mike Huckabee’s commutation of Maurice Clemmons, who recently killed 4 police officers in an ambush that took place in Washington state near Tacoma.
Huckabee has a long history of taking the Christian creed of hate the sin, love the sinner and applied too much forgiveness for the sinner when it comes to blind justice and government responsibility. Prior to today, the most prominent example of this existed in a case that came before the Governor about a decade ago.
Back in 1999, in a letter to then Governor Huckabee, a rape victim made clear her position regarding, Wayne Dumond, a man who was convicted of raping her.
“I feel that if he is released it is only a matter of time before he commits another crime and fear that he will not leave a witness to testify against him the next time.”
Her prediction of events over the course of time came to fruition in Missouri, after Huckabee granted an early release from prison to Wayne Dumond. Thanks to Governor Huckabee’s compassionate concerns, 23-year-old Sara Andrasek of Platte County Missouri was raped and murdered. It was not until Dumond was arrested for the rape and murder by suffocation of another woman, 39 year old Carol Sue Shields, that it was discovered that he was also the rapist and murderer of Sara Andrasek. That was realized only one day before Dumond was arrested for the murder of Carol Shields…….one day too late for Sara Andrasek.
Mike Huckabee tried to explain away his decision which led to Dumond’s being freed. He claimed that he did not have any indication that would have led anyone to believe that Dumond was a continued threat to society. He even tried to deny that any letters from any of those who were raped but not killed by Dumond, were ever sent to the Governor’s office or the parole board.
This was just one prominent case that existed prior to the November massacre of the four policemen that Maurice Clemmons carried out after Governor Huckabee commuted his sentence.
In the 10 years that Huckabee served as Governor, he issued 1,000 commutations and pardons. This was a total that exceeded the total number of pardons and commutations that all three of his predecessors granted. I do not believe that Mike Huckabee is soft on crime or that he means to be soft on crime, but he is personally torn between practicing his faith and carrying out the duties of government.
A Minister’s job may be saving souls but a Governor’s responsibility is to protect lives and help make our lives better. In the case of Huckabee’s commutations and paroles, he did neither and it takes a great deal of personal restraint for me to not state that the former Governor bears a certain amount of responsibility for the rapes and deaths of women and now the massacre of 4 policemen. To make such a claim may not be fair but life is not always fair. The fact is that had Mike Huckabee not been so quick to make clear that he hates the sins but loves the sinners, a few sinners may not have had the opportunity to kill and rape and continue in the life of crime that his inordinate number of commutations and parole recommendations afforded criminals.
To be sure, Huckabee did not set any of these men free. This is a point the he makes in his own defense. It is true but it is not the full story and Huckabee must be made to understand that he made it possible for these men to be considered for parole and he allowed them to be released earlier than original sentences for their original crimes called for. So although it is true Huckabee did not set violent criminals free, he did expedite their release.
For that, Mike Huckabee indirectly assisted in causing the pain, suffering, violation and deaths of way too many. The former Governor may try to make excuses and claim that he did not have proper background information on the decisions he made. He could try to claim that no one could have known what these men would have done. That may be so, but what we do know is that had Wayne Dumond and Maurice Clemmons been serving their full prison sentences, they would not have victimized more people and their victims would not be dead. What we do know is that had Mike Huckabee not intervened, lives would have been spared.
Mike Huckabee can make excuses but there comes a point in time when one must just admit they are wrong and that they failed us. For Mike Huckabee, now that there exists more victims of his decisions than excuses for those decisions, that time is now.
He needs to admit to his mistakes and to try to live with himself knowing that as Governor of Arkansas, his decisions led to the deaths of many and the victimization of many more from coast to coast.