Huckabee: Clemmons backlash could deter pardons

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he's worried that the backlash from commuting the sentence of a man who later gunned down four police officers will deter other governors from granting clemency.

Huckabee on Monday defended his commutation of Maurice Clemmons, who was killed by Seattle police days after he shot four Lakewood, Wash., police officers inside a coffee shop Nov. 29.

As governor, Huckabee in 2000 commuted Clemmons' 108-year sentence for robbery and several other crimes and made him eligible for parole. The state Parole Board released Clemmons later that year.

Huckabee, who pardoned or commuted the sentences of 1,033 people during his 10 1/2 years in office, has faced criticism over his use of executive clemency as governor. Huckabee ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

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