Apparently, New Mexico is very easy to govern. So much so that Governor Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico) is considering a pardon of Billy the Kid.
It is a bit late for the pardon to do Billy any good, since he was shot on July 14, 1881, after breaking out of jail (having been recently sentenced to death by hanging) and killing two deputies. Billy’s last real hope was that Territorial Governor Lew Wallace was supposed to grant him clemency in return for testimony against other outlaws, but the deal fell through. Perhaps Governor Wallace was too busy finishing Ben Hur to attend to the details of clemency agreements. (Hint to the Governor: Make it shorter. About 300 pages shorter.)
Public opinion appears to be against the pardon. Billy the Kid left no family to plead for him, but his victims, and the sheriff who shot him, do have descendants, and they are not pleased.
So why would Gov. Richardson want to pardon a notorious outlaw? We know Democrats are soft on crime, but this is excessive. He killed between 4 and 21 people, depending on who you believe.
Politicians can be dumb, but he is probably not dumb enough to think Billy the Kid was a juvenile just because he has “The Kid” in his name. People keep names like that even after they outgrow the names, which is why you have never heard of “Eric the Gray” or “Whitebeard.”
Maybe, just maybe, he figured that since our politicians are trying to give amnesty to milions of illegal Mexican immigrants, that we should have some diversity and pardon a real American.