Pardon Me?; or, Clemency for Billy the Kid, 129 Years Later

Billy the Kid pardoned????

Say it isn’t so. He wouldn’t be the archetypal 1880s bad-boy outlaw anymore–that sexy beast who wants to be tamed, played by handsome hunks in 46 (no lie) silver-screen westerns.

If he is pardoned by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, it would be

a.) justice finally given to the young man who had struck a deal with then-governor Lew Wallace: clemency for testifying before a grand jury for a murder he had witnessed, or

b.) a miscarriage of justice, as William Bonney, or whoever his real name was, had gunned down 21 men, including lawmen. Essentially, he was a cop killer, and a thug

c.) a plug for New Mexico tourism

d.) doomed to fail because the real William Bonney was not killed by Pat Garrett. After Garrett shot down a close friend of Billy’s, Billy skipped town and lay low until the 1950s, when he popped up again as Brushy Bill Roberts, a Christian desiring pardon from God and government.

Brushy Bill Roberts or Billy the Kid?

e.) all of the above.

Josiah Gordon “Doc” Scurlock: You son of a bitch! You’re starting to believe what they’re writing about you, aren’t you? Let me tell you what you really are! You rode a 15 year old boy straight to his grave, and the rest of us straight to hell… straight to hell! William H. Bonney! You are *not* a god!
[cocks his gun and points it at Billy]
William H. Bonney: Why don’t you pull the trigger and find out?

–Young Guns II, 1990

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