Pardon Billy the Kid and then pardon John Wilkes BoothPardon Billy the Kid and then pardon John Wilkes Booth

Posted: January 1st, 2011 by Militant Libertarian

by Kent McManigal

One story that keeps cropping up in the Albuquerque news is whether the current governor will grant a pardon to Billy the Kid.

The issue centers on whether the then-governor, Lew Wallace, promised a pardon in exchange for the Kid’s testimony, or whether a pardon was simply hinted at to get Billy to cooperate- in effect tricking him.

Either way I would say it seems to show that politicians weren’t any more honest back then than they are now.

Many people might complain that this is a silly thing for a governor to be concerning himself with. Everyone actually connected with the case has been dead for a very long time, and the real truth of what was promised or lied about, as well as whether Billy the Kid was really a bad guy or not, is obscured by the time that has passed.

Maybe it is silly for this to be a government concern. Everythinggovernment does is silly at best and harmful at worst. However, as long as The State wastes time worrying about long-dead politicians and their broken promises to long-dead outlaws, The State isn’t worrying about, and planning, new ways to molest the rest of us. This can only be good. It’s like when all the cops are snarfing down donuts at the donut shop instead of harassing drivers. Let’s encourage them to engage in useless, but harmless, exercises! At least until we can fire them all.

Along similar lines, I’d like to get the ball rolling on a pardon for John Wilkes Booth for his freelance trial, sentencing, and justified execution of that murderous tyrant Abraham Lincoln.


Comments (4)


  1. Dan Cancade says:

    Who really cares? They’re dead!

  2. I think you kind of missed the point. :)

  3. Dan Cancade says:

    I understand the point, it just seems like a distraction. Here in Canaduh they want to pardon Louis Riel (who most would consider a freedom fighter for the Métis) and make him a Father of Confederation.

  4. Never heard of him, but I’m not Canadian. The point of Kent’s article, as I saw it, was that 1) pardons are stupid and only necessary because the system doesn’t work anyway and 2) if the nitwits are going to waste time throwing around pardon ideas for people 100+ years dead, why not go whole hog?

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