Huckabee let lots more criminals off the hook

A friend passed me the following white paper on the other criminals Huckabee helped, to the detriment of society when they struck again.


9 Percent of Prisoners Whom Huckabee Gave Clemencies Ended Up Back in Prison. According to state records, at least 9 percent of the prisoners who benefited from Huckabee’s clemencies ended up in prison again. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/1/04]



2003: Eugene Fields Sentenced to Six Years For Fourth-Offense DWI. Eugene Fields was originally sentenced in August 2001 for his fourth DWI and began serving his six year sentence in May 2003, after the state Court of Appeals upheld his conviction. Previous convictions against Fields were in 1996, 1998 and 1999. [, 4/13/06; Associated Press, 4/14/06, 2/25/04, 2/27/04]

2004: Huckabee Commutes Fields’ Sentence, Saying Keeping Fields in Prison “Serves No Further Purpose.” Huckabee said through a spokesman, “Eugene Fields requested clemency before going to prison. He deserved to spend time in jail. He has completed an alcohol rehabilitation program and has been a model prisoner. There’s a critical shortage of prison bed space. Keeping him there serves no further purpose.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/28/04]

* Huckabee Was Heavily Criticized By MADD and Families of Drunk Driving Victim For Giving Fields Clemency. In 2004, Teresa Belew, state president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, sent Huckabee a letter asking him to change his mind about giving clemency to Eugene Fields of Van Buren. “It is important that the process begun by law enforcement officers such as those we honored today be supported,” Belew wrote in to Huckabee. “As our governor, your decision at this point in the process is strategic to ensuring that the process works.” She wrote that Fields was to blame for making “continued choices to drink and drive.” Paul Leopoulos, whose 17-year-old daughter, Thea, was a youth activist for MADD before her death in a car crash, said he was “blown away” by the governor’s intentions in the Fields case. “I’m sorry. That’s saying to everybody else … ‘you can continually do it and they’ll slap your hand,'” said Leopoulus. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/28/04; Associated Press, 2/27/04]

* Huckabee’s Motives Questioned by Prosecutor. Prosecutor Marc McCune questioned Huckabee’s motives in the Fields case. “[Fields] has not served one-sixth of his time, and the governor is already trying to give him clemency,” McCune said. “It may be because he’s a wealthy businessman in Van Buren or the governor is taking a light stand on DWI’s. I don’t know.” Fields owned a shopping center in Van Buren, Arkansas and was involved in real estate developments in Rogers and in Texas. [Associated Press, 2/25/04, 2/27/04]

* Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Editorial: Huckabee Sent An “Unmistakable” Message with Drunk Driving Clemency.: “Drive Drunk And He’ll Commute Your Sentence.” According to an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Governor Mike Huckabee “commuted the sentence of a Van Buren man-Eugene Fields.a shopping center developer-who’d been convicted of drunk driving four times. When the Guv does something like this, his message is unmistakable: Drive drunk and he’ll commute your sentence. At least if you’re a shopping center developer from Van Buren. It’s a message he shouldn’t be sending.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/17/04]

2006: Fields Arrested Again. In April 2006, Eugene Fields pleaded guilty to driving drunk again. Barling Police Chief John Roth said Fields was arrested on a driving-while-intoxicated charge on the evening of April 4 after almost crashing head-on into police officer Kevin Dugan on Arkansas 59. When Fields was arrested again in 2006, Huckabee said he was disappointed with Fields’ actions. “Mr. Fields has broken all trust and deserves the full penalty the law allows,” the governor said. “Not everyone does right, but when a person fails a second chance he forfeits a future one.” [, 4/13/06; Associated Press, 4/14/06, 2/25/04, 2/27/04; Arkansas Democratic-Gazette, 4/14/06]


1984: Wayne DuMond Sentenced to Life Plus 20 Years For the Rape Of Ashley Stevens.

* DuMond Had A Long History of Criminal Activity. In the 1970s, DuMond avoided prosecution in an Oklahoma killing after agreeing to testify for the state, he pleaded guilty in an attack on a Washington state woman, and he admitted raping a woman but wasn’t convicted because the victim wouldn’t testify. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/1/01]

1997: DuMond Paroled On Condition That He Not Live In Arkansas. Dumond was serving a sentence of life plus 20 years for the 1984 rape of 17 year old Ashley Stevens, whom he threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone. He also admitted that he sent Stevens a Christmas card “Because I wanted her to remember what she did to me.” In January 1997, the Arkansas state Post Prison Transfer Board voted 4-1 to parole DuMond on the condition he not live in Arkansas. “The governor believes that this does satisfy the request of people on both sides in this case and accomplishes his wish to ensure that Mr. Dumond gets out of prison,” said Huckabee spokesman Rex Nelson. [The Commercial Appeal, 1/10/97; Associated Press, 1/16/97; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/27/97]

* Huckabee Supported Prison Board Decision, Saying “My Desire Is That You Be Released.” Huckabee said he supported the Prison’s Board decision, writing in a letter to DuMond, “My desire is that you be released from prison. I feel now that parole is the best way for your integration into society to take place.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/17/97, 7/1/01; Kansas City Star, 6/30/01]

2001: Wayne DuMond Murdered a Woman In Missouri After Being Paroled in Arkansas. In 2003, Wayne DuMond was convicted of the first-degree murder of Carol Shields, 39, in Parkville, Missouri. The woman was suffocated 11 months after DuMond left prison in Arkansas and seven weeks after he moved to the Kansas City area. Shields’ body was found in an apartment about 10 miles from DuMond’s home. DuMond was also the main suspect in the 2001 murder of a 23-year old woman named Sara Andrasek, but was never charged. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/1/05; Dallas Morning News, 7/3/01]

2001: After DuMond’s Arrest, Huckabee Tried to Backtrack. After DuMond was arrested in the Shields case, Huckabee tried to distance himself from granting clemency, saying, “The only action I have taken in relation to Wayne DuMond is that I denied a commutation request that I considered.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/1/01]

2001: Prison Board Said That They “Did Exactly” What Huckabee Wanted With DuMond. However, two members of the prison board said Huckabee was the one who raised the subject of a parole for DuMond when he met with the board in October 1996. In July 2001, Prison Board member Deborah Suttlar said Huckabee had made it known he wanted DuMond released: “I think the board did what he wanted and, if he is saying that they didn’t, he’s wrong about that. The board did exactly what he wanted. He wanted DuMond free, and that’s what he got.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/1/01; Scripps Howard News Service, 7/4/01]


1992: Samuel Taylor Convicted Of Drug and Theft Charges. Samuel Wayne Taylor was convicted of drug and theft charges in 1992 of burglary, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and theft. He was sentenced to 30 years in pr
ison. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/22/99]

1998: Huckabee Granted Taylor Clemency. Taylor was granted clemency by Mike Huckabee in 1998. He was released in December of 1998 and was scheduled to be under parole supervision until February 2005. Law enforcement officials said Taylor told them his sister was a friend of Huckabee’s. Huckabee denied this. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/22/99; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/18/02]

2001: Taylor Convicted On Another Drug Charge. In 2001, Samuel Taylor was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing more than five grams of ephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. [Associated Press, 8/31/01]


2003: Huckabee Pardoned Marty Allen Southerland on Theft and Other Charges. In December 2003, Huckabee pardoned Marty Allen Southerland for a conviction of possession of an instrument of crime and theft. [Associated Press, 4/14/06]

2006: Southerland Arrested Again. Marty Allen Southerland, a Paron High School janitor who was pardoned by Huckabee in 2003 was arrested allegedly threatening the superintendent of the Bryant School District. Southerland allegedly had a .40-caliber weapon in his vehicle on school grounds when he was arrested. He was charged with making a terroristic threat and possessing a firearm on a school campus and using another person’s property to facilitate a crime. All were felonies. [Associated Press, 4/14/06]


ROYCE MURPHY: Huckabee Commuted Sentence, Murphy Was Freed. On November 18, 1996, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of Royce Murphy, who was convicted in 1969 of killing another prisoner while serving time for burglary. Huckabee commuted the sentence to 159 years and 11 months. Murphy was released and was under parole supervision until March 2050. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/22/99; Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06 ]

GEORGE SMITH: Huckabee Commuted Death Sentence, Smith Was Freed. On January 22, 1997, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of George Smith from life to 127 years and five months. He was released in April 1997 and was under parole supervision until July 2039. Smith was convicted in March 1975 for the death of David Powell. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/22/99; Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06]

JOHN DEGLER: Huckabee Commuted Death Sentence for Murderer. On August 6, 1999, Mike Huckabee commuted the death sentence of John Degler. Degler was convicted in February 1974 for the death of Curtis M. Turner. Huckabee commuted Deglers’ sentence and he was immediately eligible for parole. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/22/99; Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06]

LEE WALKER: Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Murderer Denied Clemency by Two Other Governors. On January 2, 1998, Mike Huckabee commuted the life sentence of Lee V. Walker, who was convicted of first-degree murder in February 1966. Huckabee commuted the sentence from life, making him eligible for parole. Walker was denied clemency once by Governor Bill Clinton in 1992 and twice by Governor Jim Guy Tucker in 1994 an 1996. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/6/98, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/16/98, Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06]

BOBBY RAY FRETWELL: Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Man Who Murdered 81-Year Old Man. On March 8, 1999, saying that he had “prayed and sought God’s help with the decision,” Governor Mike Huckabee said he would stick to his plan of commuting the death sentence of murderer Bobby Ray Fretwell to life in prison without parole in 1999. Family members of Fretwell’s victim, 81-year-old Sherman Sullins, had appealed to Huckabee to reconsider clemency for Fretwell. Fretwell was driving a stolen pickup truck when it broke down. Fretwell picked his victim’s house at random, killed Sullins with a shot to the head, stole his truck and money. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/6/99]

JAMES MAXWELL: Huckabee Granted Clemency Over Family’s Objections; Maxwell Was Freed. On October 30, 2000, despite objections from the victim’s family, Governor Mike Huckabee decided to grant clemency to convicted murderer and robber James Maxwell making him eligible for parole in 2003. Huckabee was criticized because Maxwell spent three years assigned to work detail at the governor’s mansion. The governor declined to discuss his acquaintance with the inmate. Angela McCoy, one of the victim’s daughters, said Huckabee repeatedly referred to Maxwell as “Jim” during a meeting. “It was obvious there was a personal relationship between the two of them,” she said. “That hurt us to the bone.” Maxwell told police he pulled out a stolen .22-caliber pistol and ordered Reverend Billy Price Bennett to get out of the car. When Bennett resisted, police said Maxwell shot him three times and stole the car. His location is unkown. [The Commercial Appeal, 10/28/00; Associated Press, 10/31/00; Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06]

WILLIE WAY: Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Murderer, Way Was Freed. On May 14, 2001, Mike Huckabee commuted the sentence of Willie Way Jr., who was convicted of first degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and three counts of robbery in 1974. Way pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the July 13, 1973 killing of James V. Carter, owner and operator of a grocery store. Carter was robbed and fatally shot. Way also pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the December 17, 1973 killing of 14-year-old Reginald Mack. Mack was shot in Way’s home. Way worked as a trusty at the Governor’s Mansion. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/12/01; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/29/01; Associated Press, 5/15/01; Arkansas Criminal History Records, 4/19/06]

ELIZABETH HAGAR: Huckabee Granted Clemency to Woman Convicted of Killing Husband, Hagar Was Freed. On December 10, 2003, Mike Huckabee ordered the release of Elizabeth Diane Hagar who was convicted of manslaughter in the 1997 shooting death of her husband, Mark Hagar. Her location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/1/04; Arkansas Criminal History Records, 4/19/06]

DON JEFFERS: Huckabee Granted Clemency to Murderer Who Bludgeoned Victim to Death with Prosthetic Leg. In 2004, Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to convicted murderer Don Jeffers, who pleaded guilty in 1980 to the bludgeoning death of William Hash. Jeffers allegedly hit Hash with his own prosthetic leg. A year after he initially granted clemency to Jeffers, Huckabee rejected the request after Attorney Robert Herzfeld successfully challenged Huckabee’s original decision in court. [Associated Press, 1/23/04; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/26/04; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/15/05]

* Governor Laughed At Prosecutor’s Concern About Clemency. When prosecutor Robert Herzfeld asked the governor to “re-evaluate” his clemency policies, he received a three-sentence reply from Cory Cox, the governor’s deputy legal counsel and adviser on criminal justice. “The governor read your letter and laughed out loud. He wanted me to respond to you. I wish you success as you cut down your caffeine consumption.” [Associated Press, 1/23/04; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/26/04]

DENVER WITHAM: Huckabee Granted Clemency to Man Convicted of Murder, Witham Was Freed. On July 6, 2004, Mike Huckabee gave clemency to Denver Witham, who had been sentenced to life in 1974 for the beating death of Stanley Wells. Huckabee commuted the sentence, making him eligible to seek parole. Witham was convicted of beating Wells with a lead pipe after a disagreement at a bar. His location is unknown. [Associated Press, 8/4/04; Arkansas Criminal Hist
ory Records, accessed 4/19/06]

WADE STEWART: Huckabee Granted Clemency to Killer Who Had 35 Disciplinary Marks on Prison Record. On December 17, 2004, Governor Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Wade Stewart despite Department of Correction records that showed that Stewart had 35 disciplinary marks on his prison record including battery, lying to the prison staff, possession of money, using abusive language, possession of gambling paraphernalia, unauthorized contact with the public, destruction and taking of state property, disrupting or breaking into a line, possession of contraband and throwing or spitting fluid. His location is unknown. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 12/18/04; Arkansas Criminal History Records, accessed 4/19/06]


Huckabee Cut Prison Time to Five of 44 Mansion Trustees. Statistics suggest that Mike Huckabee showed preferential treatment in granting clemencies to prisoners who were trustees at the Governor’s Mansion. Huckabee gave time cuts to five of the 44 mansion trustees during his tenure. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/1/04]

Huckabee Commuted Sentence of Stepson of Staff Member. In 2001, Mike Huckabee commuted the 40-year prison burglary sentence of Donald L. Clark, the stepson of Huckabee staffer Nancy Clark, to time served. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/18/02]

Reverend: I’ve Helped with “Many, Many” Clemencies from Huckabee. The Reverend Charles Williams, a pastor of Covenant at Zion Church and a Huckabee appointee to the state Claims Comission who helped promote the Republican governor in the black community said he had helped with “many, many” clemencies from Huckabee. Huckabee’s pastor at the Church at Rock Creek, the Rev. Greg Kirksey, interceded on behalf of a repeat burglar, Donnie Clark. Huckabee also cited the input of the Reverend Johnny Jackson, a 30-year friend and former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, who issued a notice to free Glen Martin Green, who murdered an 18-year-old pregnant woman. Huckabee issued a notice saying he intended to grant clemency to Green even though the Parole Board unanimously rejected the clemency application. Huckabee later announced he had changed his mind after drawing profound criticism for his decision. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 8/1/04]


Huckabee Traveled to Guantanamo to Teach Department of Defense How to Run Prison System. Governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabe planned to visit the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay for a tour of the detention center and an intelligence briefing. “It’s obviously a learning experience for the governor, but it’s also a chance for the DOD to learn how the state corrections facilities are run,” Stewart said. “It’s an opportunity for them to learn how we run our prison system.” [Boston Globe, 4/21/06; Associated Press, 4/21/06]

Huckabee Gave Money from Near Defunct PAC to Pol Who Worked for Huck on Clemency Applications. While Mike Huckabee’s national Healthy America PAC, reported receiving $63,900 during the most recent filing period, his state PAC, CLAPAC, reported no contributions. However, he did make a $1,000 contribution to Chris Morris-who worked as an extradition officer for Huckabee on executive clemency applications and was running for state treasurer. [Associated Press, 4/5/06; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/5/06; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/20/06]

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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