Huckabee Proposes Changes in State Clemency Policy Amid Complaints

JULY 27, 2004 - Posted at 4:53 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Mike Huckabee today proposed changes in the way he grants clemency.  He answered complaints from victims' families with a four-pronged proposal detailing his reasons for granting mercy.

Huckabee said "the public deserves an explanation for the reasoning behind each decision."

The governor said legislators, the attorney general, his parole board and the public should weigh on whether reduced sentences for violent criminals are appropriate.

The change was proposed just hours after relatives of murder victims made an emotional plea to involve them in the process.

In a statement, Huckabee said his office would release a form in each clemency case that gives a reason for any action taken; called on the state Post-Prison Transfer Board to strengthen its fact-finding process and give more detailed reasons for its recommendations; urged the Legislature to give subpeona power to the Post-Prison Transfer Board; and asked the Legislature to review a requirement that the goveror take up every clemency request made.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)