Pardoning Outlaws July 31, 2010Posted by bobv451 in charity, gummint, ideas, weird news, westerns, writing.
The state of New Mexico is headed for a billion dollar deficit, the drug and human slavery gangs are moving in from Mexico, we routinely score only a notch above Mississippi in educational prowess and the big discussion is whether our governor Billy “The Kid” Richardson should pardon Billy the Kid.
There is reason for the guv wanting to grab headlines by pardoning the Kid. Some say it has to do with tourism.
That makes sense but the guv is a lame duck and likely to face all kinds of criminal charges of his own starting with corruption after he’s out of office. So why should he care one whit for a state when he hasn’t up till now? A more logical notion is that he wants to attach his name to an historical figure so there’s some favorable ink about him.
Lew Wallace had offered to pardon Billy (the original) Kid if he’d rat out his cronies. Lew spent most of his time penning Ben Hur and never got around to it, forcing Billy to murder two deputies as he made his escape from the Lincoln County jail. He was locked up for two murders over in Arizona. These four he pretty much definitely did. During the Lincoln County War he probably shot a few more. It’s hard to believe he didn’t, at least.
But why pardon him now? The relatives of Pat Garrett are up in arms (though we are a concealed carry state) that the guv wants to pardon a serial killer like Billy the Kid since this would tarnish the lawman’s reputation.
Lots of myths spinning about. Garrett really didn’t kill Billy but murdered someone else and put him in Billy’s grave so Billy could run away. Yeah, right. Billy went straight. Brushy Bill notwithstanding, that hardly seems plausible. Nor is it plausible that Billy was some kind of Robin Hood defending the poor campesinos. They had their land stolen, sure, but Billy wasn’t out there killing for them. And was he lefthanded? A cross dresser? Did he really kill 21 men?
Maybe inconsequential arguments like this make us forget the real problems facing NM. Could be that’s the actual reason the guv is bring this up again (he tried to get DNA from the body in the grave a couple years ago–clone Billy the Kid? There’s another idea for you.)