New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson may pardon Billy the Kid -- not because he disputes the Kid’s outlaw ways, but because another governor had promised to issue a pardon, according to this CNN story.
Nearly 130 years after Billy the Kid’s death, the possible pardon is still stirring up controversy, even though no one disputes that Billy the Kid, also known as Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, Kid Antrim, Billy Bonney, was, indeed, an outlaw. But do you know what crimes he committed that led to outlaw status? Didn’t think so.
Shortly after Billy the Kid’s death, at the age of 21, in 1881, dimestore “biographies” of the famous outlaw – often containing as much fiction as fact – began to appear. More than 100 years after Billy the Kid’s death, the University of Nebraska Press published Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, by Robert M. Utley, which the New York Review of Books called one of the best biographies of the famous outlaw. The University of Nebraska Press is also the publishers of Such Men as Billy the Kid, by Joel Jacobsen, which explains Billy the Kid’s role in the Lincoln County War.
And those two reads should provide you with all the background you need on Billy the Kid, or at least enough for you to make up your own mind of whether Gov. Richardson should grant a pardon. Have a great weekend!