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January 11, 2010

"Goodbye to Willie Horton"

The title of this post is the headline of this effective new op-ed from Margaret Colgate Love appearing in today's National Law Journal.  The piece's subheading provides a sense of its themes: "Mike Huckabee effectively defended his Maurice Clemmons commutation — a good sign for overdue criminal justice reforms."  Here is an excerpt from the close of the piece:

Of greater concern than Huckabee's political career are the implications of the Clemmons case for long-overdue criminal justice reforms and for the nascent revival of pardoning by a few courageous governors.  The Seattle tragedy would be compounded if it were allowed to derail pragmatic proposals to reduce prison terms for nonviolent offenders, to increase the availability of drug and mental health treatment in and out of prison and to facilitate prisoner re-entry.  It would be equally unfortunate if fear of forgiving sidelined pardon as a tool of law reform for another generation.

If the pardon power has not always been used responsibly, nothing good can come from refusing to use it at all.  Lest predictions of a new freeze on pardoning become a self-fulfilling prophesy, we should be thinking about how to encourage our elected officials to approach their constitutional duties with a renewed sense of purpose.  The governors of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio (all Democrats) are setting an example in their responsible pardoning that other chief executives would do well to emulate.

There are hopeful early signs that Maurice Clemmons will not become another Willie Horton, either for Mike Huckabee or for the rest of us. I t will indeed be cause for celebration if that spell is at last broken.

Some effective follow-up commentary comes from Pardon Power here, in a post titled "No More Horton, Please. Thank You," and from Grits for Breakfast here, in a post titled "Public tired of Willie Horton? Whither 21st century clemency?"

January 11, 2010 at 06:39 PM | Permalink

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Comments

could we have some intellectual honesty on what constitutes a "non-violent" crime?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 11, 2010 8:11:58 PM

federalist --

No.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 11, 2010 8:29:06 PM

It's goodbye to Horton only for the vile, left wing criminal lovers cited. It is not goodbye to Horton for the 1000's of murder victims slaughtered by the vile criminal lover lawyer's clients. Huckabee should meet up with street justice by the families of the dead police.

Don't kill Huckabee, kneecap him to have a bad, painful limp remind all the other criminal lovers of their fates. There is no recourse against the left wing criminal lover outside of self-help. This vile internal traitor has dealt himself total immunity for his irresponsible carelessness.

I was going to say, that criminal lover, Huckabee, is not a lawyer. Given his great love for the criminal, the criminal lover lawyers made him an Honorary Criminal Lover Lawyer, with this Doctor of Laws from Ouachita Baptist University in 1992.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 11, 2010 10:53:05 PM

S.C., you've threatned O'bama, defense lawyers, Huckabee.... I'm surprised you haven't been indicted yet. I can't wait for the day. Of course you won't have funds to hire your own cult criminal lawyer. So I guess you'll get appointed one: let's see --How about a left-wing-pinko--lesbian-black-Jew? No, on second thought, such a brilliant, dedicated, passionate, highly effective and formidable advocate would not go near you, much less represent you. No, for you, nothing but "street justice."

Posted by: streetjustice | Jan 11, 2010 11:21:49 PM

Street: What are you saying? Make your point in a simple declarative sentence. Subject, verb, predicate.

Am I not allowed to wish the criminal lover some of what his client has inflicted on the crime victim, especially black folks, carrying a six fold heavier burden of crime victimization?

Is there a legal remedy to the airtight rigged system that protect criminals, and sends crime victims to rot unprotected? In the absence of a legal remedy, there is full moral and intellectual justification to self-help in self-defense against the incompetents running the criminal law. You may say, take it up with the legislature. Congress did that, as did most state legislatures, in enacting sentencing guidelines. The lawyer made them discretionary, despite a 40% drop in crime.

We mock Mexico and Sicily for their corruption. Here, the Mafia is not corrupting the government with payments and threats. They are running 99% of the government with their cult members.

I have not threatened anyone. I have called for the indictment of high government officials, arrests, trials, and executions for their insurrection against the Constitution. What is more patriotic than that?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 11, 2010 11:55:33 PM

Street: Not one word from you about the 23 million crime victims of last year. They produce no lawyer fees. Only the criminal does. Thus your intensity.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 11, 2010 11:59:33 PM

Clod: Your frequent hallucinations apparently include "most" states enacting sentencing guidelines. That is not the case and never has been. When you can't even get the very basic facts about sentencing right it makes it even harder to cut through the miasma of sophomoric blathering and unhinged drivel.

With regards to your persistent calls for physical assault of federal officials on this forum - I suggest you find rent-seeking counsel to better advise you of your constitutional writ to make such threats. While the denigration and fictional murder of defense lawyers is a well respected part of American culture, I think you'll find that the rent-seekers with a badge or a bench have made it illegal to threaten them or their own.

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 12, 2010 1:07:02 PM

Ferris:

It's an act. SC is a psychiatrist from Pennsylvania. Supremacy Claus is his hobby. It may very well be the single most annoying hobby in the history of humankind, but it's still just an act. Don't let it antagonize you.

Posted by: JC | Jan 12, 2010 1:58:09 PM

"SC is a psychiatrist"

really? do his patients know?

Posted by: David in NY | Jan 12, 2010 2:44:15 PM

Actually, before being distracted by the insane psychiatrist, I had meant to say that Willie Horton lives for liberals, don't kid yourself. That's because our alleged "liberal media" are in fact in thrall to the Murdochs and the Drudges of medialand, whose capacity for false outrage (cf. recent silly Harry Reid kerfluffle) is unbounded. But if a conservative makes a mistake injuring thousands, no biggie. You know -- IOKYAR -- "it's OK if you're a Republican."

Posted by: David in NY | Jan 12, 2010 2:51:15 PM

Back to the point. I'm not sure how Huckabonehead "effectively defended" his actions in this case to anyone that matters. What he did was blame his bother-in-Christ's multiple murder escapade on everyone else in Arkansas and Washington - other than himself. Saying "it's Bubba's fault!" is technically a "defense", how effective it is/was is pretty clear:

It wasn't.

He was a viable candidate for the Republican nomination prior to his pal's spree, how he'll have to fight with Sarah Palin and Sean Hanity for air time on Fox - if he remains relevant at all. In October he polled 30% in some 2012 nomination polls, he's back in the teens now.

Despite what gets written in the NLJ, with it's dynamic circulation among law clerks looking for a job and professors looking for blog filler, most headlines read something more like "Huckabee: Screwed" or "Huckabee Blames Weather for His Decision to Free Raving Loony."

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 12, 2010 4:04:26 PM

David in NY --

"I had meant to say that Willie Horton lives for liberals, don't kid yourself."

Actually, he was invented by liberals. He first surfaced in a primary campaign ad Al Gore ran against Dukakis for the 1988 Democratic nomination. I kid you not.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 12, 2010 5:04:30 PM

Ferris: Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 448 (1969),

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio

I know you will never bother to read the decision so here is the black letter law as it is today.

1) The "imminent lawless action" test — for judging so-called seditious speech under the First Amendment:

2) Three distinct elements: intent, imminence, and likelihood.

3) The bad tendency test is de facto over-ruled.

4) The time element of the clear and present danger test is strengthened.

I have had to post and explain this citation many times on this blog. Do you know why? Because the facts abandoned the left 100 years ago. They want dissenters from their sick Hate America ideology to be personally attacked, arrested and silenced. All the Left has left is destruction of the person. They killed 100 million people and still failed to persuade, not even Chinese Commies believe in the left.

The left wing lawyer cannot debate a civilian without false allegations and threats to have the person arrested. Such threats violate a lawyer rule of conduct, and stem from frustration in the traverse.

I know there is a federal thug in the future of all productive people. It is the moral duty of the innocent defendant to take that lawyer down by asserting all legal rights and remedies against the government thug. Do total e-discovery. Counter sue. There is more child porn on government computers than on any others. Have other federal thugs arrest the federal thug on child porn charges. The thug should be prevented from committing suicide, so that his endless torments over years remain visible and serve to deter his fellow thugs. Involuntarily commit him to a mental hospital. Then sue on his behalf to have him return to his federal thug job, so other thugs see him every day and contemplate their personal fates.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 12, 2010 9:57:17 PM

Clod: Interesting that you cite case law to support your continued dance with statutory violations that were enacted decades after the fact. I suggest reading the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007, among other statutes, which nibble away at the ability of lunatics like yourself to claim threats, direct or not, as speech.

I'm just here to help - although I'm not sure I can do much about the voices in your head.

Interestingly, not a peep in any of your bizarre replies about how utterly wrong you we're about the wide adoption of sentencing guidelines in the various states. Perhaps it's time to give up on the sentencing blog, since you know so little about the law or the process of sentencing, and find something more to your strengths - perhaps "www.tinfoilhat.com".

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 13, 2010 4:41:04 PM

Ferris: At least 21 states have sentencing guidelines. The rest have low rates of crime, because they had low fractions of minority populations and tough judiciaries without guidelines.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 14, 2010 10:32:32 PM

""www.tinfoilhat.com"

It is ironic when the cult criminal calls others insane.

Meanwhile, the cult criminal believes in mind reading, future forecasting, and that the truth can be detected by using the gut feelings of 12 strangers, after excluding any with knowledge.

He picked up these beliefs from a church that believed the sun rotated about the earth, and that the earth was flat. If someone dared to point to the curved horizon, or to the round shadow of the earth on the moon during an eclipse, this church burned the person at the stake.

The criminal cult enterprise is cuckoo.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 15, 2010 6:40:18 AM

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