Nineteenth-century History

Pardon for Billy the Kid?

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid
Source: Wikipedia

Update: I have just read that Bill Richardson did NOT give Billy the Kid the long-promised pardon.

While reading the news today, I discovered that the current governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, is considering pardoning Billy the Kid for killing a sheriff. Richardson only has until Friday to decide because that is when his term will end.

The reason behind the possible pardon is based on a promise made to Billy the Kid by then-governor Lew Wallace. In return for appearing before a grand jury in another murder case, Wallace made a deal with Billy the Kid to pardon his crimes. The pardon was never given which is why Richardson argues that Billy the Kid still deserves his pardon even posthumously.

The majority of people support the proposed pardon, but many also oppose it. The family of Pat Garrett, the sheriff who fatally shot Billy the Kid, opposes it strongly by arguing that no matter what promises were made, Billy the Kid was still a thief and a murderer. Supporters argue that a deal is a deal and that Billy the Kid deserves his pardon even if it is well over a century late.

What do you think about this? Do you think he deserves the pardon? I, personally, have mixed feelings about it. Both points are valid in my opinion which makes it quite difficult to decide.

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