show details 2:49 PM (3 hours ago)
Democrat Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, whose term in office ended this past midnight, made news his last day on the job by something he didn't do--he didn't pardon the outlaw Billy the Kid.
Billy, aka William Bonney, aka Henry McCarty, lived in New Mexico in the 19th century. He's supposed to have killed 21 people, one for each year of his short life. The Washington Post quotes the New Mexico Tourism Department as saying the total was really probably closer to nine.
Anyway, the story is that the then territorial governor, Lew Wallace, offered the Kid a pardon if he'd confess what he knew about various killings. But Richardson's people told him there were no documents "pertaining in any way" to a pardon among Wallace's papers. Wallace and the Kid did have one secret meeting, it seems, but no one knows what happened. Wallace wrote the Kid, "I have authority to exempt your from prosecution if you will testify to what you say you know." Apparently there was never a deal or at least not one that can be proven today.
Oh, well. We need one unreconstructed bad guy out there, don't you think?
Happy New Year.