beard-based ethnic pandering, Ben Hur, Billy the Kid, David Berkowitz, Emilio Estevez, Governor Bill Richardson, Henry McCarty, Hillary Clinton, Latinos, Lew Wallace, Manson Family, mass murderers, mullets, New Mexico, New Mexico Territory, Pat Garrett, Richard Speck, serial killers, Son of Sam, there's a NEW Mexico?, treachery, Typhoid Mary, William Blaine Richardson III, William H. Bonney
New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, best known both for parlaying the backstabbing of Hillary Clinton into a cabinet nomination from which he was forced to withdraw as well as for growing a beard to remind potential voters that he was Latino,* has decided to run out the clock on his term in office with a bit of asinine frivolity. Richardson is mulling a pardon of notorious outlaw Henry McCarty, also known as William Bonney, but known to posterity as Billy the Kid.
The story goes that Lew Wallace, the then-governor of the New Mexico Territory (and future author of Ben Hur) offered clemency to the Kid. True or not, Billy went on to gun down a few more folks before hooking up with his pal Pat Garrett one last time.
Some say it’s a bad precedent to pardon a guy whose body count (over 20 according to legend, but probably somewhere closer to 10) puts him in the same league as Richard Speck, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz and the Manson Family. Others contend that a pardon will allow Billy’s restless spirit to go on to its heavenly reward.
This episode begs the following questions:
- Has Richardson so neatly solved New Mexico’s myriad ills that he can engage in an ill-advised publicity pardon of a mass-murder/serial killer 130 years dead?
- Isn’t there someone in a New Mexico jail right now who not only would grateful for a pardon, but also didn’t kill a bunch of people?
- There’s a New Mexico?