Michael Dukakis: Willie Horton-Mike Huckabee: Maurice Clemmons: Barack Obama and Senor X

March/19/2013 8:31AM
Write Comment
Please follow and like us:

First it was Michael Dukakis and Willie Horton. Here’s an article from the Forerunner dated 1998.

Dukakis & Willie Horton

By Editorial Staff Published October  1, 1988

The Willie Horton case

In Massachusetts, first-degree murderers used to get out of prison for the weekend …

Governor Michael Dukakis believed that it was “rehabilitative” for prisoners to be allowed to roam the streets unsupervised in what was known as the Prison Furlough Program.

That practice was finally outlawed by state legislators on April 28, 1988, after an enormous grassroots petition drive brought the issue before the people.

Here are the cold hard facts about Governor Dukakis’ “experiment in justice,” which has received little coverage on campaign news broadcasts:

  • On June 6, 1986, convicted murderer Willie Horton was released from the Northeastern Correctional Center in Concord. Under state law, he had become eligible for an unguarded, 48-hour furlough. He never came back.
  • Horton showed up in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on April 3, 1987. Clifford Barnes, 28, heard footsteps in his house and thought his fiancée had returned early from a wedding party. Suddenly Willie Horton stepped out of the shadows with a gun. For the next seven hours, Horton punched, pistol-whipped, and kicked Barnes – and also cut him 22 times across his midsection.
  • When Barnes’ fiancée Angela returned that evening, Horton gagged her and savagely raped her twice. Horton then stole Barnes’ car, and was later chased by police until captured.
  • On October 20, 1987, Horton was sentenced in Maryland to two consecutive life terms plus 85 years. The sentencing judge refused to return Horton to Massachusetts, saying, “I’m not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again.”
  • Variations of this story were repeated on several occasions in Massachusetts. Confessed rapist John Zukoski, who had brutally beaten and murdered a 44 year-old woman in 1970, became eligible for furloughs and was eventually paroled in 1986. A few months later he was arrested and indicted yet again for beating and raping a woman.
  • The Massachusetts inmate furlough program actually began under Governor Francis Sargent in 1972. But in 1976 Governor Dukakis vetoed a bill to ban furloughs for first-degree murderers. It would, he said, “Cut the heart out of inmate rehabilitation.”
  • The program, in essence, released killers on an “honor system” to see if they would stay out of trouble. On the average, convicts who had been sentenced to “life without parole” spent fewer than 19 years in prison. By March 1987, Dukakis had commuted the sentences of 28 first-degree murderers.
  • Of over 80 Massachusetts convicts listed as escaped and still at large, only four had actually “escaped.” The rest simply walked away from furloughs, prerelease centers and other minimum-security programs. These convicts included murderers, rapists, armed robbers and drug dealers.
  • First-degree murderer Armand Therrien was transferred from a medium security prison to a minimum-security one, which made him eligible for a work-release program. He walked off and vanished in December 1987.
  • When citizens began to protest, Dukakis and his aides defended the program relentlessly. One commissioner stated that furloughs were a “management tool” to help the prisons. Unless a convict had hope of parole, he argued, “we would have a very dangerous population in an already dangerous system.” But, critics wondered, if armed guards can’t control dangerous killers inside locked cells, how are unarmed citizens supposed to deal with them?
  • It was through the efforts of a grassroots organization, Citizens Against Unsafe Society, that the issue was finally brought before the people. With mounting pressure from his own aides to sign a bill ending the program – for fear that it would hurt his presidential campaign – Dukakis signed the legislation in April of this year.

America … do we want a president in office who would try the same “experiment in justice” on a national level?

Than it was Mike Huckabee and Maurice Clemmons.

This from the Daily Wire dated 2009.

Mike Huckabee’s Unfortunate Pardon


For months, pundits have speculated on whether Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee could win the Republican primary in 2012. Polls show the politician ahead of other potential front-runners, but his political fortunes hit a speed bump this week. Maurice Clemmons, a former convict Huckabee pardoned nine years ago, is now sought in the killing of four police officers in Washington state.
Huckabee’s PAC issued a statement reminding supporters that Clemmons was made eligible for release by a parole board before Huckabee could issue a pardon and charging that the criminal justicesystem is to blame. “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,” they wrote. But with allusions to 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis’s pardon of Willie Horton, pundits say the tragedy could cause Huckabee real political trouble.
  • ‘Tragic and Politically Damaging’  At Politico, Ben Smith says the scandal is the sort that has ended careers before. “It’s a tragic, and politically damaging story of the kind that, with the name Willie Horton attached, helped derail Mike Dukakis’s bid for the White House.” And Smith says it’s not the first time Huckabee’s judgment has been in question regarding clemency. “Huckabee advocated for parole for a convicted rapist who — his allies said — had been railroaded by Huckabee predecessor Bill Clinton. The rapist, Wayne DuMond, was released; he raped and murdered another woman.”
  • A Reasonable Use of Clemency  Matthew Yglesiashas some sympathy for Huckabee. Clemmons, he writes, had never been accused of murder, and “60 years for burglary and theft for an eighteen year-old seems incredibly excessive.” Yglesias thinks the pardon was reasonable. “In this case, of course, you can’t help but wish he were in fact still in prison. But it’s hard to see what about a record of involvement in burglaries would make you think this was a guy at risk of doing something like this.” Still, he writes, this “probably spells trouble for a guy who seems to still have political aspirations.”
  • ‘This isn’t Huckabee’s first Horton moment,’ Michelle Malkin writes, referencing the story of Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist who raped again after he received a pardon from then-Governor Huckabee.
  • Another Huckabee Pardon  Like Malkin, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo hasn’t forgotten Huckabee’s other transgressions. “Those with long memories will remember that this is not the first Huckabee commutation with a bad ending,” he writes.  “The case of Wayne Dumond got a good deal of attention in the 2008 presidential campaign.”
  • Just Like Dukakis  Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain blog draws the parallel. “If Clemmons is the killer, this would make Huckabee a Republican Dukakis,” he writes, in a reference to a former Massachusetts governor whose presidential hopes were marred by a pardon that ended in more violence.

These men lost their bids for the presidency largely due to the mistakes of turning dangerous criminals loose on society with disastrous consequences.

Barack Obama just turned loose 2,228 illegal migrants including 600 convicted criminals. It may be the biggest political mistake of Obama’s career. One of those 600 is sure to do something serious akin to what Willie Horton and Maurice Clemmons did.

When that happens will the media give Obama yet another pass or will the be the same hue and cry that Dukakis and Huckabee suffered?

Time will tell.

Please follow and like us:

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

  • No Related Posts

Leave a Reply