On the Radar: Billy the Kid, snowy East Coast, Australian floods
December 29th, 2010
09:15 AM ET

On the Radar: Billy the Kid, snowy East Coast, Australian floods

Billy the Kid pardon? New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has promised to make a decision by Friday on whether to grant a posthumous pardon to notorious Old West gunslinger Billy the Kid.

Richardson will be deciding only the matter of a promise to the outlaw made by territorial Gov. Lew Wallace, Richardson spokesman Eric Witt said. "We're not offering a blanket pardon for everything he did."

Wallace had promised to grant the Kid (who also went by the name William Bonney) amnesty for the fatal shooting of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady and other "misdeeds" if he agreed to testify before a grand jury investigating another murder. Bonney cooperated, but the pardon didn't happen.

He eventually was convicted in Brady's death and was sentenced to death, but he escaped from jail April 28, 1881, killing two deputies. Sheriff Pat Garrett shot Bonney dead July 14, 1881, weeks after the escape.

Garrett's descendants oppose any pardon for Bonney.

"If Billy the Kid was living amongst us now, would you issue a pardon for someone who made his living as a thief and, more egregiously, who killed four law enforcement officers and numerous others?" the Garrett family wrote Richardson last fall.

East Coast weather: The U.S. East Coast is still digging out from as much as 30 inches of snow, and airlines are still trying to clear a backlog of passengers stuck in airport terminals by thousands of flight cancellations.

More than 1,000 international travelers had to wait for hours aboard planes at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport because no gate was available for them to use to enter the terminal.

"With all the cancellations and delays, it'll be two to three days before the airlines are at a regular schedule," said Thomas Bosco, general manager of New York's LaGuardia Airport.

A Delta Air Lines spokesman said the airline hoped to return to a full schedule at JFK sometime Wednesday morning and at Newark by midday.

Flooding in Australia: In the Australian state of Queensland, helicopters are being used to evacuate people from flooded towns, and more flooding is in store.

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said that about 20 communities had to be evacuated because of the floods.

Major flooding is now heading toward Rockhampton, a city of 50,000 on the coast, and the central city of Emerald, with 15,000 residents, he said.

Forecasters have said the weather will clear over the next 48 hours, Roberts said, but recent heavy rain means water has built up in river catchment areas.

"It does take a day to three days, in some instances, for that water to come down in some of the cities that are under threat, so we're over the worst of the rain, but some of the worst flooding is still yet to come," he said.

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Filed under: Australia • Billy the Kid • Crime • History • New Mexico • U.S. • Winter weather
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Yep

    Why bother, he's been dead for over 100 years.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • GaGa

      because richardson is a moron

      December 29, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Free the Kid!

      December 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mysterion

    Yes let's pardon a mass murderer. These politicians are such dorks. First it was Jim Morrison and now it's Billy the Kid. Yes let's pardon some obscure fossil, so we can appear hip and cool.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Pardon the Kid, then follow suit with the Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper, the Boston Stangler, and the man who murdered love. 😛

      December 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kathy

    How stupid! What is the point of pardoning any notorious criminal from the past? You can't rewrite history! Why try? Waste of time!

    December 29, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Hitler's next on his list for a pardon.

      December 29, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. slavedriver

    Richardson will probably give him a humanitarian award. Or, possibly a participation trophy.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. toad

    its not pardoning him for all his crimes that murder was in self-defense which caused the after math of his life in crime most of the people he killed be had warrants for them

    December 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • GaGa

      So...because they had warrants against them they needed to be killed by him? And, how do you know they were self defense?

      December 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lewayne cash

    Pardon billy the kid is like god pardon the devil!!!!!

    December 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. old man in the west

    Hollywood has made him a hero,society now likes to change history to whatever's sheik and fit's their needs. We must remember that these days, no one is BAD, just misguided, like Billy. In 70 years we can pardon Ted Bundy, and Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway as they too were misguided, unhappy childhood or whatever led them down that road. Ridilin may have helped, or a nice pat on the head. But others in the same boat didn't end up pulling this crap. Now Billy was the law also, which makes us now wonder, why our police are so quick to draw now, 8-10 shot in Washington just this year. So what's the difference between Seattle and Spokane police and Billy the Kid. Ask the 75 year old man holding a rock shot in Spokane, wait, you can't ask him he's dead, he didn't drop his rock. You can't change history, so bleeding hearts, leave it alone!

    December 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RUFFNUTT

    billy was set up.

    December 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stickemup

    And y do we give a damn about a loser in the 1800s and it is 2010 oh he was cool for wacking cops tho

    December 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    I say Bonnie and Clyde should deserve a pardon. Billy the Kid used a shotgun, Clyde used a machine gun. I don't see any difference.

    December 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cha~ching

    Who cares

    December 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gregory dale

    The West was wild. this went along with the American dream. But he`s dead. It doesn`t matter any more now.

    December 30, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. JFK's Brain

    Deciding the merits of a pardon based upon an Internet poll makes Perfect sense to me. People where Is your sense of liberal compassion?

    December 30, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. jeff richmond

    pat garrent shot kid while hiding in the dark. he should have been charged with murder. he was a police officer, but instead of arresting kid to face charges, he killed him. the west was corrupt. he should get the pardon he held up his end now they should hold up their end. period end of story

    December 30, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |