I defended Governor Mike Huckabee regarding his commuting Maurice Clemmons sentence so that it made him parole eligible.  I still believe in that instance (without the ability to see into the future) that the sentencing in this case was not just.

He explained the process involved, and it sounded like he received feedback from involved parties.  But then I read the following exchange after the Maurice Clemmons commutation.

Now this is anecdotal evidence, but it does have me scratching my head.  The first letter is from Robert Herzfeld, the Prosecuting Attorney of the 22nd Judicial District of Arkansas written to Governor Mike Huckabee on January 13, 2004.  You can read it below or here (if you don’t have good eyesight).

Then Cory Cox, the Deputy Legal Counsel and Adviser on Criminal Justice responded to Robert Herzfeld on January 16, 2004 on behalf of Governor Mike Huckabee.  You can read below or here.

I guess what I fail to understand is why Mr. Herzfeld’s letter was so funny, he expresses a legitimate concern.  Also why would the Governor (or his staff) respond in such an unprofessional manner?  This is certainly making me rethink my defense of his clemency policy in general.  Why would people want to express dissent if they are responded to in such a snarky manner?  If more items like this come out if he had any 2012 aspirations at all they are, if they weren’t before, effectively dead, dead, dead.

HT: Hawkeye Review

Update: Iowans Rock pointed out that Robert Herzfeld was a political opponent of Governor Huckabee, and likely had political motivation for writing his letter.

My response:

I’ll accept that there was political motivations on the part of the prosecuting attorney, but doesn’t mean his concern is totally without merit. Whether he was running for office or not he was still a prosecuting attorney in the state of Arkansas. Cox has no excuse for responding the way he did, especially on Governor’s office letterhead. Sorry. It was unprofessional, and if that isn’t what Governor Huckabee meant to convey then Cox did him a disservice and he should have been disciplined.

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