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Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Gov. Bill Richardson: Billy the Kid Pardon Decision by Friday; No Additional Pardons or Commutations
Governor Bill Richardson issued a statement today saying he continues to review documents and public input related to a potential pardon for Billy the Kid. (Click to see the petition for the pardon submitted by Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn.) Gov. Richardson reiterated that he will announce his decision before he leaves office on Friday.
The governor's office received 809 emails and letters commenting on the proposed partial pardon by the December 26 deadline for submittal cited on a special web page about the case. Of those, 430 backed the pardon while 379 were against it.
E-mails debating the issue came from all over the United States and beyond, including England, Japan, France and New Zealand, said Richardson's deputy chief of staff, Eric Witt.
"This has clearly generated a lot of interest globally," Witt said.
He said responses, pro and con, came from people familiar with the legend of Billy the Kid as well as from people knowledgeable about the territorial era and the Lincoln County War, in which the Kid and Brady were on opposite sides.
No Other Pardons or Commutations on Tap
Other than the possibility of that pardon, Richardson said he will not grant any other pardons or commute any other sentences before leaving office.
“I believe that requests of this nature must be fully vetted and investigated by the appropriate agencies to ensure that I do the right thing for those who request clemency as well as the citizens of New Mexico,” Richardson said. “While I appreciate the urgency from those who have made last-minute requests for pardons, I do not have adequate time to thoroughly review them before leaving office.”