Billy the Kid is still an outlaw.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced Friday he would not grant a posthumous pardon to the infamous Old West bad guy, after drawing international attention by entertaining a petition on Billy the Kid’s behalf during his final days in office. Richardson’s term ends at midnight.
The pardon request had centered on whether Billy the Kid, who was shot to death in 1881 after escaping jail where he awaited hanging in the killing of a sheriff, had been promised a pardon from New Mexico’s territorial governor, Lew Wallace, in return for testimony in killings he had witnessed.Â The proposed pardon covered the 1878 killing of Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady.
But the descendants of Wallace and Sheriff Pat Garrett, who fatally shot the fugitive in 1881, had expressed outrage over the proposal.
Granddaughter Pauline Garrett Tillinghast told Fox News minutes before the decision was announced Friday that a pardon would tarnish her grandfather’s legacy. Though the pardon might have been narrowly tailored, she expressed concern that the public perception would be that he was “pardoned for everything.”
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