Mike Huckabee had a long record of granting pardons and commutations when he was governor of Arkansas--granting twice as many as his three predecessors combined. He was often influenced to grant these pardons by friends and acquaintances, especially among the clergy, and sometimes just by fandom--he pardoned Keith Richards for a traffic offense after meeting him at a concert. Most of us would probably like the ability to pardon certain people (or to be backstage at a Stones show), but never get the chance. Huck had the chance and used it often.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, necessarily. In general, we put too many people in jail in this country, and while there's often a good reason for those incarcerations, many more are ineffective and serve just to turn misguided people into hardened criminals.
For a project I'm working on, I've been doing a lot of reading and studying up on criminal psychology, learning about repeat offenders and especially those driven by their bizarre mental issues toward serial crimes--killers, abductors, rapists, the lowest of the low. For the most part, incarceration is the only solution to these issues--in a structured environment, these people can become functional citizens. But they can't be removed from that structured environment because then they'll immediately return to their old patterns. I'm not saying they don't exercise conscious choice when they carry out those crimes, because they do--otherwise you'd see them trying to pull them off in front of police officers, say, or in public places. Any criminal who plots an act and commits it in secret has decided to do so, and thought it through. But the compulsion driving these people is so ingrained that while it can be altered by altering the criminal's living arrangement, it can't be removed.
So for Huckabee to have commuted the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, who was sentenced to prison for 60 years while already serving a 48-year term (and facing a possible 95-year term on other charges), was a big mistake. Huck says the Arkansas parole board agreed with his decision. Still, the guy served only eleven years, then violated his parole and served another five. After Arkansas cut him loose, he moved to Washington state and got into trouble again. He was recently released on bond, after being arrested on child rape charges.
He seems to be suffering a psychotic break. He believes he can fly, and he is convinced that President Obama will soon be visiting him to announce that he is the Messiah. He recently forced his wife and various younger relatives to strip for him, declaring that families should spend part of every Sunday nude. He's certain the world is ending soon. He's a bad, bad guy and he should not be out in society. At this moment, it's believed that he's wounded and possibly dead, so that probably won't be a problem anymore.
Yesterday he allegedly ambushed four police officers in Lakewood, WA, shooting and killing them in a coffee shop as they worked on laptops, doing paperwork before their shift started.
On Fox News yesterday, Huckabee said he was undecided about a presidential run in 2012. He sounded ambivalent. Honestly, he's probably making more money as a Fox personality and radio host, and he's never managed to attract enough of the Republican base. But if a guy he let out of prison--a guy with a history of violent crimes and mental issues that might have been caught and contained in jail--killed four cops, then his political career is effectively over anyway.