In 1984, serial rapist Wayne DuMond was convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault after he used a gun to force a 17-year-old high school cheerleader into his car, before driving to a secluded place where he violently raped her. The victim’s name was Ashley Stevens. Stevens was the third cousin of Bill Clinton, who was governor of Arkansas at the time she was raped.
Prior to raping Ashley Stevens, DuMond had been arrested twice for the rapes of at least two other woman. He received a deferred sentence after being convicted of the rape of another teen in Tacoma, Washington. A few years later he raped a woman in DeWitt, Arkansas. Prosecutors dropped the charges in that case, on the condition that DuMond attend counselling.
DuMond openly admitted to beating a man to death with a claw hammer, in Lawton, Oklahoma. In that case he was not charged because he agreed to testify against two others who were involved in the killing.
DuMond was sentenced to life in prison, plus 20 years, for the kidnapping and rape of Ashley Stevens.
Before his sentencing, however, DuMond’s testicles were cut off. He claimed that two men attacked him in his home, tied him up with fishing line and castrated him. In reality there was never any evidence of a break-in. There were no ligature marks or injuries, which should have been apparent if DuMond had been forcefully restrained with fishing line by two attackers. DuMond’s own wife asked the doctor who treated him if it were possible he had injured himself. Of course the answer was yes. The nearly empty half-gallon jug of whiskey near the scene of the castration suggested that it was indeed possible.
But what do facts matter to right wing fanatics?
Inside the diseased minds of warped right wing lunatics, this was all Bill Clinton’s doing. DuMond became a martyr, a victim of the evil leftist regime. Guided by nothing but their blind and vicious hatred for Clinton, right wing church groups, political organizations and pro-rape – anti-women -“‘conservative activists” demanded clemency for DuMond.
A relatively unknown author by the name of Guy Reel, came out with a book about DuMond, titled Unequal Justice: Wayne DuMond, Bill Clinton, and the Politics of Rape in Arkansas. Not surprisingly, the book omitted important details and falsified others. Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post and Jay Cole, pastor of the Mission Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville, were also among the right wing fanatics who pressed for clemency in the case.
Some of the lies spread by the right wing media regarding DuMond included that DuMond was a “Vietnam veteran with no record.” He was a Vietnam vet, who openly confessed to slaughtering a village of Cambodians during the Vietnam war. He also has a history of violent crime and previous rape charges going back more than a decade, including a previous rape conviction. DuMond supporters claimed that Ashley Stevens “failed to identify DuMond in two lineups,” a statement that was entirely misleading. She identified him immediately during the only lineup in which he was present.
Another claim, that Stevens “identified two other suspects, one an ex-boyfriend,” was total fabrication. She never identified anyone except DuMond.
The claim that DNA evidence exonerated DuMond, is also a lie. No evidence of the kind ever existed.
Desperate to blame Bill Clinton, the right wing also claimed that he had personally intervened to keep DuMond in prison. Clinton explicitly recused himself from the case because of his relation with Stevens.
As governor of Arkansas, one of Huckabee’s first acts was to move to give DuMond a commuted sentence.
After Huckabee announced his intentions to free DuMond, Ashley Stevens and other victims appealed to his office and to the media.
Letters from Stevens and from other victims of the serial rapist can be read in full at this link, via the Huffington Post.
Huckabee wrote to DuMond in 1997, addressing the letter “Dear Wayne,” and saying that it was his “sincere desire” to see him released from prison. Huckabee wrote that while he could not offer clemency, he would recommend parole to the seven-member parole board.
Huckabee met privately with DuMond’s parole board, during what was most likely an illegal meeting, held in violation of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Under pressure from Huckabee, the parole board voted to allow DuMond to move to Missouri, where he raped and killed at least two women, one who was pregnant with her first child.
Later Huckabee denied intervening in the case, but the evidence shows that he’s lying about the role he played in getting DuMond out of prison. Members of his administration say otherwise. In 2007 several members of the parole board came forward to talk about DuMond’s release.
Lois Davidson, mother of DuMond murder victim Carol Sue Shields released this video through Victims Voice on youtube in 2008.
Mike Huckabee wants to be president of the United States. It isn’t just the horrendous judgment that he showed when intervening in the DuMond case that should be causing alarm bells to sound across the country. While Huckabee was governor, he pardoned literally thousands of Arkansas criminals, and he did it without notifying victims or authorities of his intention to release these people.
A Saline County prosecutor filed suit against Huckabee, after he pardoned a convicted killer, giving absolutely no reason for his decision. It was not only the first time in Arkansas history that a prosecutor sued the governor over a pardon, but the first time a pardon was overturned in such a case. The convicted killer, Don Jeffers, had strangled a man to death during an armed home invasion. He accepted a plea of life in prison, in exchange for not facing the death penalty. Had prosecutor Robert Hertzfeld not filed suit in the case, Jeffers would have been released from prison without explanation.
Huckabee also granted clemency to another convicted killer, Denver Dual Witham, who beat a man to death with a lead pipe. Witham had five previous felonies, and had threatened the lives of law enforcement. “This is the person the governor wants to let out of prison,” one prosecutor said at the time.
In November 2009, Maurice Clemmons ambushed and killed four Parkland, Washington police officers. Clemmons had 13 prior felony convictions.
In 1999, Clemmons appealed to Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. In his petition he wrote that he came from “a very good Christian family” and was “raised much better than my actions speak”. Over the objections of his victims and several prosecutors who were involved in his previous criminal cases, Huckabee commuted Clemmons’ 108-year prison sentence, making him eligible to receive parole the same day.
Following Clemmons shooting spree, which left four police officers dead, Huckabee said, “If I could have known nine years ago that this guy was capable of something of this magnitude, obviously I would never have granted the commutation.”
Yet prosecutors clearly warned Huckabee that Clemmons was a danger to society and would almost certainly kill again. He didn’t listen.
The fact is that Huckabee issued three times as many pardons as his three predecessors combined.
“Between 1996 and 2007, Huckabee helped free through commutations and pardons more prisoners than had been freed by the previous three governors — Bill Clinton, Frank White and Jim Guy Tucker — combined in an 18-year period.
In fact, an Arkansas Leader study indicated that Huckabee helped free more prisoners from 1996 through 2004 than were freed in the six neighboring states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas — combined.
None of the prosecutors were ever told why Huckabee felt compelled to have a hand in freeing so many prisoners, though all of them speculate that his deeply religious nature led to a strong belief in repentance and forgiveness. In some cases, prosecutors say, evangelical leaders attested that a prisoner had found Jesus and that seemed to influence the governor’s thoughts.”
Officials also claimed that Huckabee spent far more time listening to right wing fanatics like Jay Cole and Steve Dunleavy, than he did on researching the facts of the cases he intervened in. Many described the streams of pardons he issued as “fatally flawed.” These were not low level drug offenders, they were convicted rapists, murderers and people with long, violent criminal histories.
It appears that Huckabee did little to no research before letting these people out on the streets. Instead he relied heavily on the statements of the criminals themselves, especially those who claimed to have “found Jesus.”
After a face-to-face meeting with Huckabee following his initial announcement regarding DuMond, Ashley Stevens and family members voiced frustration over how little he actually knew about the case. One family member said, following the meeting with Huckabee:
“He [Huckabee] kept insisting that there was DNA evidence that has since exonerated Dumond, when that very much wasn’t the case. No matter that that wasn’t true … we couldn’t seem to say or do anything to disabuse him of that notion.”
According to the Arkansas Times:
The state official who advised Huckabee on the Dumond case confirmed that the governor knew very little about Ashley Stevens’ case: “I don’t believe that he had access to, or read, the law enforcement records or parole commission’s files — even by then,” the official said. “He already seemed to have made up his mind, and his knowledge of the case appeared to be limited to a large degree as to what people had told him, what Jay Cole had told him, and what he had read in the New York Post.”
The thought of this man becoming president is entirely chilling.
Apparently even Mitt Romney thinks so.
*Featured image credit: video screen capture Victims Voice via youtube