Despite Victims' Pleas, Huckabee Pushed for Serial Rapist's Freedom

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

Way back in January, Mike Huckabee appeared on Meet the Press and was asked about Wayne Dumond. In 1996, Dumond, a convicted rapist who attacked a 17-year-old girl, was up for parole, but the Arkansas parole board was poised to deny his request. Huckabee intervened and announced he would commute Dumond's sentence, causing the parole board to reverse course and grant him parole, a decision Huckabee endorsed.

Within a year of being freed, Dumond traveled to Missouri, where he raped and killed another young woman, and was the lead suspect in another rape and murder case. Tim Russert asked the former governor if he regretted supporting Dumond's parole. Huckabee was evasive, saying only that he "wish[ed] that I had known more than I knew." Huckabee went on to insist that he did not intervene in Dummond's case with the parole board, and neither he nor his staff tried to convince the board to grant Dumond parole.

Some political observers are calling the case Huckabee's "Willie Horton" problem, in reference to the felon who committed armed robbery and rape under a weekend furlough program adopted by Michael Dukakis. But it's actually worse -- Dukakis didn't lie about Willie Horton, and Huckabee is lying about Wayne Dumond.
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.
Confidential Arkansas state government records, including letters from these women, obtained by the Huffington Post and revealed publicly for the first time, directly contradict the version of events now being put forward by Huckabee.
While on the campaign trail, Huckabee has claimed that he supported the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond because, at the time, he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public. Thanks to Huckabee's intervention, conducted in concert with a right-wing tabloid campaign on Dumond's behalf, Dumond was let out of prison 25 years before his sentence would have ended.
And why on earth would Huckabee have supported the release of a man convicted of raping a teenaged girl in the first place? Because of a right-wing political campaign on Dumond's behalf.

CBS News explained yesterday that Dumond's original victim was a distant cousin of then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and the daughter of a major Democratic campaign contributor.
As Clinton rose to national prominence, the case came to the attention of his critics. Journalists and talk show hosts questioned the victim's story and suggested that DuMond had been railroaded by the former governor. Steve Dunleavy, a New York Post columnist, took up the case as a cause, calling DuMond's conviction "a travesty of justice." [...]
When Huckabee became governor in 1996, he expressed doubts about DuMond's guilt and said he was considering commuting his sentence to time served. After the victim and her supporters protested, Huckabee decided against commutation. But in 1997, according to the Kansas City Star, Huckabee wrote a letter to DuMond saying "my desire is that you be released from prison." Less than a year later, DuMond was granted parole.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.