Maurice Clemmons' murder of four police officers outside Seattle has come to haunt Mike Huckabee, and he's faced criticism for his 2000 commutation of Clemmons' 108-year prison sentence over the past week.
His PAC initially released a statement that shunted responsibility onto "the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State," then Huckabee seemed to take on more of the responsibility himself, appearing on The O'Reilly Factor (video here) to answer questions and issuing a long statement about his decision to commute Clemmons' sentence.
Now, he's answered some pretty challenging questions from a reporter in person. Here's the video, via CNN:
"I looked at the file, every bit of it, and here was a case where a guy had been given 108 years. Now if you think that a 108 year sentence is an appropriate sentence for a 16 year-old for the crimes he committed, then you should run for governor of Arkansas," Huckabee says, when the reporter lists Clemmons' history of violence and dangerous behavior and asks if Huckabee read his entire file.
I've written before that this might not damage Huckabee too badly in the political sphere: his apparent remorse over the decision--and the fact that Clemmons was so young when sentenced--might make it tough for his opponents to use it against him. But the controversy doesn't seem to be fading.