Update: Monday, November 8, 1999
Sharline Wilson granted clemencyBy Jean Duffey
Last month, Governor Huckabee published his intent to grant Sharline Wilson clemency. Once an intent is published, anyone who objects to a convict's release has 30 days to lodge a protest with the governor. The usual objectors are the offender's victims, the prosecutor, and the law enforcement agents of the county where the crime was committed.
In Sharline's case, there were no victims, the prosecutor was Dan Harmon who is in federal prison for his own drug crimes, and the law enforcement agents in the county support her release. The sheriff and the chief of police each included affidavits in Sharline's clemency application stating they believe her sentence was excessive and justice would be served if she is released.
Considering that Sharline would not have the usual protesters, we decided to keep the news of the governor's intent as quiet as possible to prevent any waves from other possible protesters, like supporters of Bill Clinton. Although Sharline's long-time advocates, Jane Chastain, who has a popular west coast talk-radio show, and Sarah Foster, who writes for WorldNetDaily, were notified about the governor's intent, they agreed to hold the story for Sharline's sake. They could, and should, have been the ones to break the story, but their concern for Sharline cost them the "scoop" which was reported Saturday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Drudge Report.
Fortunately, the 30 days notice was up Friday, and Governor Huckabee commuted Sharline's sentence to time served. As soon as her release papers make it through the bureaucratic channels, she will be freed. That should be within days.
In the meantime, Linda's plight for justice continues. She did receive a shot in the arm when Mara Leveritt's book was released this month. The reviews have been better than even hoped for and the first-week sales have been promising. Mara has written an accurate and meticulously documented account of the tangled web of government corruption which has used its power to perpetuate a cover-up of the murders of Kevin and Don. The book explains how the Arkansas political machine works so that even the skeptical will understand.
Be sure to order Mara's book if you haven't already done so. It will make a great Christmas gift.