Gov. Richardson: A ‘Close Call,’ But No Pardon for Billy the Kid (Video)

December 31, 2010

(ChattahBox US News)—In the end, after the outgoing Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson (D) brushed off his feelings of historical romanticism for a Western folk hero, he found the evidence for a pardon lacking. After much deliberation and media attention, Richardson announced he will not issue a posthumous pardon for notorious 19th century teen outlaw Billy the Kid. Why? Well for one, after Territorial Governor Lew Wallace reneged on his promise of a pardon, Billy the Kid continued with his murdering ways, killing two lawmen.

The young gunslinger was also known as Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim and William H. Bonney. Shot dead at the tender age of 21 by Sheriff Pat Garrett, the Kid’s life was short but certainly colorful, and provided the inspiration for the popular films “Young Guns” and “Young Guns II.”

But he will remain for now, a criminal wanted for murder at his death.

Richardson made his announcement this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America.

‘”I’ve decided not to pardon Billy the Kid because of a lack of conclusiveness and the historical ambiguity as to why Governor Wallace reneged on his pardon,” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said exclusively on GMA today.”

And perhaps more compelling than the lack of convincing evidence on the promise of a pardon, was Billy the Kid’s return to killing.

“It was a very close call. I’ve been working on this for eight years. The romanticism appealed to me to issue a pardon, but the facts and the evidence did not support it and I’ve got to be responsible especially when a governor is issuing pardons,” Richardson said.

“Richardson said that Billy the Kid’s decision to continue to kill after the pardon wasn’t granted to him impacted his decision.”

‘”What I think maybe tipped the scales with me is that Billy went ahead after not getting this pardon and killed two deputies, two law enforcement individuals, two innocents,” Richardson said.”


Photo Source: Wikimedia/Ben Wittick, Public Domain.


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