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Author Topic: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?  (Read 1848 times)

Edsonmom

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Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« on: November 23, 2010, 02:04:28 PM »
I found this rather interesting, so thought I would share!!
Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
  By Tom Sharpe, Agence France-Presse
SANTA FE, N.M. - Billy the Kid could yet get an official pardon — but the clock is ticking on a long-awaited decision on the infamous 19th-century Wild West outlaw.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has hinted since he was first elected in 2002 that he might posthumously pardon the controversial gunslinger, who died nearly 130 years ago.

But with only two months left in his second term — his successor was elected on Nov 2, and takes office in January — Richardson has yet to schedule a pardon hearing despite a campaign by supporters who consider the Kid a hero.

"The governor still has yet to decide whether he’s even going to proceed with a review of the Billy the Kid issue," said gubernatorial spokesman Eric Witt. "He still has not come to a decision which direction if any he wants to go on this thing.

Ted Kwong, an aide to Richardson’s successor Susana Martinez, said he does not recall the governor-elect ever making any statement about the Billy the Kid pardon debate.

The legend of Billy the Kid has inspired dozens of books and films, several impostors and attempts to exhume his grave and that of his mother for DNA testing.

The tombstone of 21-year-old William H. Bonney, also known as Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim or just "The Kid," has been stolen several times and is now encased in a metal cage near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Some say Territorial Governor Lew Wallace, who wrote the novel "Ben Hur" from the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, promised to pardon Bonney.

But William Wallace, the former governor’s great-grandson now living in Westport, Connecticut, recently said there is no historical evidence to back that up.

In a letter from the Santa Fe jail on March 1, 1881, Bonney implored Wallace to visit him and offered to testify about a murder if Wallace would "annul" murder indictments against him for killings during the Lincoln County War.

But the next month, a judge sentenced Bonney to hang. On April 28, 1881, while awaiting his execution in Lincoln, New Mexico, "The Kid" escaped by killing two deputies with a pistol left in a privy.

By May 30, 1881, Wallace left New Mexico to accept President Ulysses Grant’s appointment as minister to the court of the Turkish sultan, without ever acting on the pardon.

Opposing the pardon today are the grandchildren of Sheriff Pat Garrett, who shot down Bonney on July 14, 1881.

It would amount to painting Garrett as a cold-blooded killer, "accusing our grandfather, in national and international media, of hideous crimes," wrote Jarvis Patrick Garrett of Albuquerque and Susan Floyd Garrett of Santa Fe.

"We consider that an abomination as well as an inexcusable defamation of a great man."

Pushing for the pardon for more than a decade have been various fans of the Billy the Kid legend, including Elbert A. Garcia of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, who believes he is the great-grandson of Billy the Kid.

Garcia wrote a book in 1999 explaining how his grandfather, Patrociano Garcia, was Bonney’s son — even though there is no proof Bonney had any descendants.

Anthony M. Martinez, a former reporter who runs a website called hispanonewmexico.com from his home in Albuquerque, recently wrote an open letter urging Richardson, the son of an American father and Mexican mother, to pardon Billy the Kid.

Martinez said Bonney sided with New Mexico’s Hispanic majority against the late 19th century land-grabs by the corrupt Anglo-Americans known as the "Santa Fe Ring".

He also claimed Hispanics sheltered Bonney when he was on the lam, that he may have fathered children by more than one Hispanic woman, and that he spoke fluent Spanish, down to his last words in the dark, "Quien es?" (Who is it?).

"Billy the Kid thought of the Hispano people as family and I think it was a feeling that was mutual," he said. "I think it’s only appropriate that we speak up for him like a family would."



© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
http://www.canada.com/news/Could+Billy+posthumous+pardon/3819029/story.html

jellybean

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 03:18:15 PM »
Perhaps our cousins down south should find something a bit more productive with their time. Billy the Kid, at least in my opinion, was a common criminal, who killed people. I guess MGM can take part of the blame, by turning him into a hero of sorts. All of the movies rampant with romanticism of gun slingers. I don't think he will get a pardon.  It would certainly have ramifications for the Garrett clan living today. Interesting question though.

jellybean

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 11:28:56 PM »
Wonderful topic really.  If Billy the Kid lived today, with all of his crimes, how many years by Canadian and by US law would he get?

jellybean

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 03:17:54 PM »
Today, also at best, he would get 25 years here in Canada, like Russel Williams, ( with a chance of paroll)  In the states, depending upon where he did  his last crime either Life in Prison,  which means life, or a death sentence.  So much more severe, than Canada.  (we are such bleeding hearts here.)  But then, our American cousins might just team up and request it.  They are odd that way.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 03:20:02 PM by jellybean »

Concerned

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 04:37:09 PM »
Denied

Billy the Kid denied pardon
Photograph by: PNG, Archive
SANTA FE, New Mexico, Dec 31, 2010 (AFP) - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Friday refused to pardon Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid, saying there was not enough evidence to forgive the infamous gunslinger, killed in 1881.

Advocates for a pardon said the legendary gunman — reputed to have shot dead 21 people, one for each year of his life — had reached a pardon deal with then-governor Lew Wallace in exchange for testimony regarding another shooting.

But Wallace allegedly failed to pardon the outlaw, who was then shot down by Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881.

Richardson said he has been investigating Billy the Kid — whose real name was William H. Bonney but was also known as Henry McCarty and Henry Antrim — since he first took office.

But on his last day as governor, Richardson declined to pardon the gunslinger.

"I have decided not to pardon Billy the Kid because of a lack of conclusiveness, and also the historical ambiguity as to why governor Wallace reneged on his pardon," Richardson announced on ABC television.

The legend of Billy the Kid has inspired dozens of books and films, several impostors, and attempts to exhume his grave to test for DNA.

He likely killed at least four people, and possibly more, though the figure of 21 dead may just be part of the legend.

Richardson acknowledged that talking about Billy the Kid was a likely plus for tourism in the US state.

"It’s gotten great publicity for the state. I acknowledge that. And I support that," he explained.

Various fans of the Billy the Kid legend have pushed for the pardon for more than a decade, including Elbert Garcia of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, who claims to be the gunman’s great-grandson.

Garcia, 71, who got up early at his home in the town of Santa Rosa to watch Richardson on television, said he was "disappointed" upon hearing the news.

Richardson "never called me from my end, even though I wrote him all kinds of statements... I’m going to get on Facebook now to tell all my friends," he said.

Sheriff Garrett’s grandchildren opposed the pardon, saying it would amount to painting the sheriff as a cold-blooded killer.

Richardson "took an admirable way of saying no to the pardon which is great," said Jarvis Patrick "JP" Garrett, the sheriff’s grandson.

Garrett said he thought Richardson did not issue a pardon because New Mexico was a federal territory at the time — it did not become a state until 1912 — so any killings were federal crimes and cannot be pardoned by a state governor.

Garrett’s granddaughter Susannah also welcomed Richard’s decision, saying: "I do believe Billy’s ruthless and notoriously violent nature has been camouflaged by the romance of the (wild) west."

But local librarian Paige Pinnell, a student of the history surrounding Billy the Kid, voiced disappointment and said he thinks Richardson is confused about history.

"There’s no proof that Billy shot anybody at that particular time," Pinnell said.

Richardson, a former US energy secretary who traveled to North Korea this month on his latest diplomatic mission, is stepping down after two terms as governor of the southwestern US state.

Susana Martinez, who takes over as governor of New Mexico on Saturday, said she viewed the proposed pardon as a waste of time.

Lew Wallace, a former Union general in the US civil war, was also the author of the novel "Ben-Hur." Wallace was governor of New Mexico Territory 1878-1881, and later served as US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/travel/Billy+denied+pardon/4045675/story.html

Chris

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 11:09:50 PM »
Quote
Richardson said he has been investigating Billy the Kid — whose real name was William H. Bonney but was also known as Henry McCarty and Henry Antrim — since he first took office.

What an idiot! It took him this long to figure out Bonney really was a killer? Cripes all he had to so was ask any historian who has studied that man.

The media has a facination with mass killers of the past. Bonny and Clyde were cold blooded killers, so was Jesse James and Billy the Kid. None of these people deserve to be celebrated or honored.

Sap1

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Re: Could Billy the Kid get posthumous pardon?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »
Thank God that those old west movies are being shown less and less these days. Our young generations don't seem to care to look at anything "western" or "country" or black and white so they won't get kids hero worshipping these serial killers of the past. At least not these killer cowboy. Media just report on serial murders but money hungry movie makers are the ones who try to make them sensational. I hope that stops.