On December 5, Governor Mike Beebe announced that he planned to pardon his son, Kyle Beebe, along with 11 other people.
The Parole Board recommended that Kyle Beebe receive a pardon on October 20. In less than two months, his father granted him that pardon. As we reported previously, it usually takes much longer than two months for the governor to act on a pardon recommendation. However, the governor insisted that Kyle Beebe is being treated the same as everyone else.
As we mentioned in our earlier blog post, it’s difficult to say whether Kyle Beebe received special treatment in being granted a pardon. Governor Beebe pardons quite a few people with similar offenses, but he also declines to pardon many of those who are recommended for pardons. When it comes to timing, however the governor’s claim gets much shakier. Just check out how long the other 11 men whose pardons were announced with Kyle Beebe have been waiting:
- Christopher E. Atchison – 6 months (recommended on June 18, 2014)
- Nathan W. Broome – 6 months (recommended on June 18, 2014)
- Eugene Brown – 7 months (recommended on May 22, 2014)
- Elvis D. Burks – 6 months (recommended on June 18, 2014)
- Bobby G. Davis – 6 months (recommended on June 18, 2014)
- Richard T. Devore – 5 months (recommended on July 22, 2014)
- John E. McAlister – 5 months (recommended on July 22, 2014)
- Joshua Scott – 4 months (recommended on August 20, 2014)
- Edward L. Stokes, Jr. – 5 months (recommended on July 22, 2014)
- Christopher L. Turner – 7 months (recommended on May 22, 2014)
- Archie E. Wilkerson – 7 months (recommended on May 22, 2014)
The majority of those recommended for pardons waited at least 6 months to receive them. One lucky individual only had to wait 4 months. But there was one really lucky individual who only had to wait 2 months.
Are we supposed to believe it’s merely a coincidence that the luckiest person on the governor’s pardon list just happens to be the governor’s son?
Incidentally, it was interesting to see Vox’s take on this pardon situation. They didn’t break any new ground in reporting it, merely saying they wish the governor’s pardon power would be used more widely. Any time they want to delve a little deeper into why this is a troubling issue, they can look at The Arkansas Project. We’re happy to do the digging for them.