Perhaps jealous of Gov. Charlie Crist’s ability to pardon people who have been dead for decades, New Mexico’s Bill Richardson is thinking about one-upping him by pardoning a guy whose been dead for a century. Richardson is considering cleaning up the name of Billy the Kid AKA Henry McCarty, the western outlaw who is a huge part of New Mexico’s historical lore (and tourism industry). Richardson showed up on Studio B to explain the situation.
The pardon’s a bit controversial since, unlike Crist and Jim Morrison, Billy the Kid, y’know, killed people. So why would Richardson be giving him a pardon? Well, back in 1878, McCarty testified in court to help convict three men charged with murder. Historians agree that he probably only did this because then-Governor Lew Wallace offered him amnesty in exchange. However, the deal fell apart because the district attorney reneged on the arrangement. Since then, old west fans and historians have called for New Mexico’s leaders to finally come through on the promise.
Richardson, days away from leaving office, summed up the reasons even better on Fox News:
“This is fun. We’re not talking about war. We’re not talking about airplane delays everywhere and storms like you have to do. This is American history. This is New Mexico history.”
The Governor says he’ll leave the decision until the last minute. You can check out his interview from Fox News below:
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