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Old August 1, 2010, 08:12 PM   #26
crghss
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Say what?

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How many of you would kill a man today to escape being hung
So if I go to jail I'm allowed to kill a person to escape?
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Old August 1, 2010, 09:02 PM   #27
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There's more to it than that. The Lincoln County War was a war between two mercantile owners for military beef contracts. The Dolan side decided they wanted the contracts more so they killed John Tunstall. Well the Tunstall side couldn't go to the law because the "LAW" was very close friends with Jimmy Dolan. In fact the men that murdered Tunstall were deputy sheriffs. The county judge was also friends with Dolan. The county judge was also the territorial judge. The territorial judge was the one that sentenced Billy the Kid to hang. One of the jail guards (Bob Olinger) was a gunman on the Dolan side in the "war". Olinger was also a known murderer and thief in his own right. Billy was also the ONLY person on either side in the war to be hunted down, tried and sentenced to anything. The only crime Billy was ever charged with was killing the sheriff! Billy was one of 6 or 7 men that did the shooting. Did I mention that the sheriff was in with the Dolan side? Now, does it sound like the Kid got a fair shake in the whole thing? And Hawg is right, Billy only killed four men. "Windy" Cahill in AZ was shot while beating on the Kid. ( Cahill was 6ft tall and about 240 according to witnesses, the Kid was 5ft 8 or 9 and about 125) Cahill's own deathbed testimony said he attacked the kid. Joe Grant was a Texas "badman" lookin to kill someone in Bob Hargrove's saloon. Tried to shoot the Kid in the back and died shortly after. The 2 jail guards. Olinger taunted Billy, marked the days off till Billy's hanging on a calender outside the Kid's cell. Even Pat Garrett said Olinger was a bully. Pat even called Olinger his "killer deputy". The other guard, Jim Bell was kind to Billy. After the escape Billy told John Medows ( A friend ) that he did not intend to shoot Bell, but as he ran Billy had no choice. Like I said look at the facts, do some reading on your own then make a judgment.

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Old August 1, 2010, 09:47 PM   #28
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I think that it's safe to say that nobody involved in the business in New Mexico had clean hands and some were dirtier than others. There's legend and there's fact and there's tourist's to be shaken down. Me, I can't really muster the energy to pick a side, so I guess I'm for the status quo.

I have to say that back in 1870s and 1880s, territorial law and law enforcement could be very screwed up, and not just in New Mexico. My great great grandparents arrived in Idaho around that time and, although I don't think they would have called it "lawless", there were certainly different factions that had different ideas about how the territory ought to be run.
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Old August 1, 2010, 11:11 PM   #29
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I agree. I don't think the Kid should be pardoned for a couple of reasons. First, Billy was promised a pardon by Lew Wallace for testimony in court about a murder. Billy testified as promised. Gov Wallace however did not live up to his part of the deal. Billy then drifted into open lawlessness. He could've left New Mexico and noone would've bothered to look for him. But he stayed there and was hunted down and killed. The "law" had it in for him. He was not a psyco killer, but he was no angel either.
The second reason is it would be a killer for the tourist trade. People go to NM to see the haunts of the "outlaw" Billy the Kid.
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Old August 2, 2010, 12:57 AM   #30
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Well, just to put things in proper perspective, it seems to me that our young Billy was sort of a scum of the earth character. The fact that other similar folks were around at the time doesn't make Billy any less culpable. Also, on the number of murders, one ought to be enough to have a neck tie party or so it seems to me. On the pardon aspect, I always thought the pardon was for a conviction not fugitives from justice. I'm not sure if our Billy ever went through a trial and was actually convicted of anything.
This conviction aspect- remember when Clinton (another Billy) pardoned that guy who was a fugitive from justice. I think his name was Vick? I can't remember. In any event we have a law library near where I live so I checked out some old Supreme Court decisions on this "Pardon" business because the news media was saying a pardon was an "unlimited power without restriction" and I thought that didn't sound right-the old founding fathers didn't seem to like unlimited powers without restrictions.
IN ANY EVENT, the OLD time view of the Supremes was that the pardon ONLY applied to a conviction, the conviction could be overturned or the sentence reduced. The idea was that if the pardon power applied before a conviction -such a power would undermine the separation of powers, namely the judicial branch of government. In other words the trial had to take place, all the facts had to come out, a conviction had to be rendered, and then a pardon could apply. I think I remember there was some talk that if a pardon could apply before the trial process, it could serve as a shield or obstruct justice.
In any event you have to read the old decisions, any law professor these days would just cite the current "unlimited power" argument.
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Old August 2, 2010, 01:38 AM   #31
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Is a pardon going to do anyone any good?
Is Billy still alive and facing death, so a pardon will help him? NO
Is a pardon going to benefit any of his relatives (Allow his children to get some benefit that is now being denied them because of his conviction)? I do not know for sure but I think the answer is NO.
Is there any real benefit in a pardon? Not that I can see.


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Old August 2, 2010, 10:08 AM   #32
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"Well, just to put things in proper perspective, it seems to me that our young Billy was sort of a scum of the earth character"

Have you done any research on him?

"The fact that other similar folks were around at the time doesn't make Billy any less culpable. "

Easy to judge from a modern point of view. Different time and place.

"Also, on the number of murders, one ought to be enough to have a neck tie party or so it seems to me."

Pretty loose definition of murder there, sport. When a group of gunmen, wearing the cloak of legality and who have the territorial and county judge, not to mention powerful politicians on their side try to kill you and your friends, what exactly would you do? Would you just except the fact that you don't have long to live, or would you shoot back? If you did, is that "murder"?
Research the subject before passing judgment.
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Old August 2, 2010, 12:23 PM   #33
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P*ss on his grave.
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Old August 2, 2010, 01:29 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJN77
First, Billy was promised a pardon by Lew Wallace for testimony in court about a murder. Billy testified as promised. Gov Wallace however did not live up to his part of the deal.
If Billy had received a pardon as promised maybe his life would have been different. He wanted to stay and the Governor wanted him out, so then maybe he had no chioce but to turn lawless if he wanted to stay.

It would seem that a deal is deal is deal. And since Gov. Richardson is a fair man, if he pardons him then so be it. You will all know the reason why, that some previous Governor renegged on a deal that ended up costing someone their life.
I hope that the profit motive doesn't enter into the picture, about if a pardon is issued then tourist money will be lost.
I don't care either way, but I'm not going to criticize Gov. Richardson for honoring a deal that should have been honored from the beginning. No one forced then Gov. Wallace to make the deal. Unless Billy's testimoney can be proven to have been tainted or dishonest, then he is entitled to his pardon for doing so.
Then everyone will know the real reason for him being granted a pardon and why he was hunted down without it. Just because he chose to stay where he belonged and felt that he had earned that right to stay by testifying.

I think that Governor Richardson should do whatever he can to justify honoring the deal. Because breaking that deal just may have cost Billy his life in the name of the law, and a lawless New Mexican government whose head didn't want to honor it's agreement. All because of the broken word of a Governor. Billy paid with his life. If the Governor made a rotten deal, then that's his fault for upholding a corrupt system that was no better than Billy. A deal is a deal.

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Old August 2, 2010, 02:03 PM   #35
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While we're making everything right, let's give the Black Hills back to the Sioux. Now that's something I could get behind.
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Old August 2, 2010, 02:30 PM   #36
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let's give the Black Hills back to the Sioux.
Why? That's just crazy horse talk!

If Billy was innocent, guilty, or a mixture of both, he's still a legend of the American west. He's dead, leave him alone. Anyway, I don't see kids playing cowboys and Indians anymore. The old legends and heros are fading away for new digital ones, like "Leeroy Jenkins". Shame.
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Old August 2, 2010, 08:00 PM   #37
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Actually I was thinking about most of the outlaws of the time, not Billy in particular. Sorry if I got him misjudged.
Sources; Bob Scott, stage driver for Wells Fargo 1880's
Daniel Leitch, early settler and Sioux Indian fighter
and Dick Wotten, Colorado.

All said the outlaw class were the scum of the earth. Since they were there I sort of took them at their word.
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Old August 2, 2010, 08:19 PM   #38
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So if I go to jail I'm allowed to kill a person to escape?
That's not what I said. I asked would you kill to avoid being hung.
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Old August 2, 2010, 09:19 PM   #39
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"Since they were there I sort of took them at their word"

That's not always the best thing to do. Pat Garrett and his two deputies that were there have two different versions of the shooting. Pat and John Poe, have the same story except in Poe's version he was the one that talked Garrett into going to Ft. Sumner that night. Tom (Kip) McKinney (the other deputy) said Garret set an ambush and shot the Kid with a shotgun. Poe and Garrett had higher goals in life. Both went on to be "upstanding citizens" while McKinney went on to be a miner and rancher. A cook that worked for the owner of the house that the Kid died in, had a completly different story. Not to mention all the other stories that came from people that were nowhere near the shooting. Garrett had first hand knowledge of what happened but most historians don't think he was very truthful about it.
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Old August 2, 2010, 09:59 PM   #40
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Sounds like text book Invincibility Fable. Teenage egocentrism + violent environment = violent kid. It's still going on today. Even though crime is going down, statistically, violent crime is being committed by younger perps. Robberies committed by this age group are much more likely to end in homocide. There is a positive correlation between emotional regulation and the development of the prefrontal cortex (which usually finishes developing around 25 and can take as long as 27 years).
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Old August 3, 2010, 07:57 AM   #41
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Don't know about all that fancy talk, but I think you mean that kids are a PITA, and Billy was no exception..?? I agree !!!
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Old August 3, 2010, 08:14 AM   #42
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Just because there were other people doing the same thing Billy The Kid was doing doesn't make him any less guilty. Either through direct, hands on murder or indirect, he ordered his gang to kill, he wasn't a nice guy at all. He got his justice while the others who were pretending to be the law didn't.

If anything, charges should be entered into public record against those "law men" who were known murderers themselves. But to pardon The Kid, there's gotta be a lotta money involved for a Gov to even worry about stupid crap like this.
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Old August 3, 2010, 02:09 PM   #43
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Man, where do you get this stuff? Billy wasn't the leader of any gang. I said earlier that he shouldn't be pardoned because of the stuff he did, but at least read about the man before you make a judgment. It's easy to judge things from a modern point of view. In this day and age when a police officer or judge is guilty of misconduct there are usually steps you can take to correct the problem. In 1878 when a lawman or judge was corrupt, and against you, you usually came down with a bad case of dead. Unless you shot back. The Kid was not blameless, or a "hero" but he wasn't a psyco killer of women and children either. His type was very common on the frontier. The type that went by the "code of the west" as it were. ( I'll die before I'll run ) Look at Wyatt Earp and the " OK corral" shootout. Neither side was going to back down, so there was a fight. Wyatt was as crooked as the men he shot. Like I said, read a book instead of getting your info from hollywood westerns.
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Old August 3, 2010, 02:35 PM   #44
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"Don't know about all that fancy talk, but I think you mean that kids are a PITA, and Billy was no exception..?? I agree !!!"

Sorry about that. Went back to school last year and the old gray matter has'nt quite hit the rinse cycle, yet. Kids can be a pain. I remember doing plenty of stuff that should've gotten me killed. Luck of the draw.
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Old August 3, 2010, 03:02 PM   #45
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Quote:
His type was very common on the frontier.
Why, then, is he remembered over the rest?
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Old August 3, 2010, 03:21 PM   #46
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"Why, then, is he remembered over the rest?"

The only reason Billy the Kid is remembered at all is because of his escape. When he killed both his jailers and rode out of Lincoln New Mexico on April 28, 1881 he became a legend. One that had no resemblence to the real Kid. Before that, no one new who he was. He was just another two bit petty thief and cattle rustler. But that jail break was the stuff the dime novels were written about. That is why the Kid is remembered at all. As far as "remembered over the rest", he isn't. He's remembered along WITH the rest. Wyatt Earp, Doc Hilliday, "Wild Bill" Hickok, Clay Allison, John Wesley Hardin, Sam Bass, Ben Thompson, Jesse James, Cole Younger, The Daltons, Bass Reeves, hell I could go on all day. All these people were of the same cloth. Some were blatent criminals, some were not so open about their criminal activities and some were upstanding citizens, but ALL of them ( Billy included ) would fight before they would run. All of them killed other men in armed confrontations at one time or another for whatever reason, weather those reasons were pure or not. At one time or another, when givin the option to run or fight, they ALL fought.

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Old August 3, 2010, 04:24 PM   #47
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Publicity stunt,,,

<Cynicism>

This is just another politician trying to get his name in the papers,,,
It serves no other purpose except maybe New Mexico tourism.

I'm all for New Mexico tourism by the way,,,
Beautiful late evening drive.

</Cynicism>

.
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Old August 3, 2010, 05:40 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJN77
In 1878 when a lawman or judge was corrupt, and against you, you usually came down with a bad case of dead. Unless you shot back. The Kid was not blameless, or a "hero" but he wasn't a psyco killer of women and children either. His type was very common on the frontier. The type that went by the "code of the west" as it were.
To this very day the government makes deals with some of the worst criminal types in exchange for their cooperation. Folks that no one would want to see getting off scott free but they do. And to top it off they're given new identities and a place to live and income. And that can include their family members too.

Once the deal to protect someone is struck then the government can't simply back out afterward. That's bargaining in bad faith and shows just how corrupt a system can be.

Billy received the justice for his crime so now he has more than earned his pardon as promised. It's about the authorities keeping their word which is suppose to be more important than whether a criminal goes free or not.

Last edited by arcticap; August 3, 2010 at 05:45 PM.
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Old August 4, 2010, 03:12 AM   #49
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MJN77,

I'm no expert on the Wild West as I suspect you aren't either. I have "read about the man" and "Where I got this stuff" is in the following link.

Billy did have a gang at one point. Read the Wikipedia article on him here. The Kid wasn't the normally known "Gang Leader" of the time, but there was a time when he had a gang of men with him that followed his directions.

McCarty started his adult life as a common criminal. He escaped jail after having been found in possession of stolen clothes and firearms. He never served his sentence for that crime. It wasn't much longer before he became a murderer.

Now, why in the world you feel the need to make comments like, "Where do you get this stuff from?" and "Read about the man before making a judgment" is beyond me. From what I've read of the man, he was affable when it suited his needs and deadly when his needs weren't met.

Also, I never said Billy The Kid was a psycho. But to kill ANYONE while breaking the law and going against common precepts such as, "Don't steal another man's stuff and you won't be called a thief" is a pretty good indicator of having a mental issue or ten. Today's foster parents are worth a damn, by and large, but just like today, The Kid found himself in a horrible home situation with his foster parents. I won't go into my childhood here, but I will say this. It was HORRIFIC. I've never stolen anything, never taken a job that required me to break the law and never killed anyone who didn't really deserve it.

In other words, I've never killed a man who wasn't trying to kill me. And since I was in the Army when that happened and deployed overseas, and the few guys I have killed were either shooting at my helicopter, me or my army buddies, I don't need a pardon for it.

It's obvious you've some love of the old west and the frontier. But don't bring your offensive and condescending attitude into a conversation like this. Just no reason for it.
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Old August 4, 2010, 10:14 AM   #50
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First off, I have actually been a student of the "old west" and specifically Billy the Kid for over 20 years. I may not be an expert, but I bet I have researched the subject more than you have.
Second, believing ANYTHING on wikipedia is like believing what you read in the enquierer. They are known for posting BS. Hell, they even list his B-day when every serious historian knows that was made up by Ash Upson when he co-wrote Pat Garret's book. No one really knows when Billy was born or if he was even 21 when he was shot.
Third, no Billy did NOT have a "gang". He rustled cattle with a few "buddies". Men like Dave Rudabaugh would have shot anybody that even acted like that were trying to give him orders, and Charlie Bowdre was at least 10 years older than the kid and went through the Lincoln County War right along with the Kid (Charlie is the man that killed "Buckshot" Roberts ) so I don't think he would have felt the need to look to the Kid for guidence.
It's easy to sit in your chair at the computer and judge what happened 120 years ago with a modern mind set. It was a different place and time. The law was corrupt and had no problem killing those that were in their way. You should know, when people try to kill you you shoot back. That's what the "war" was about. The only killing he did when breaking the law was his jailers, one of which was a gunman and known murderer on "the other side" in the "war". If you want to read about what the Kid was actually like, go here for a start. http://www.aboutbillythekid.com/
A good book is Billy The Kid: a short and violent life by Robert M. Utley.
I stand by my statement "where do you get this stuff" If Wikipedia is your source you have been misinformed.

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