Pardon Billy the Kid?

While some of the pardons granted by President Clinton in his few remaining hours in office are causing some grumbling in many quarters, especially his forgiving fugitive financier Marc Green, a New Mexico congressman is looking for a real shoot-out should his suggested pardon be granted. Rep. Ben Rios has introduced a proposal asking Gov. Gary Johnson to pardon one Henry McCarty, also known as William H. Bonney, but best known as the feared frontier outlaw Billy the Kid, who died some 120 years ago. The outlaw’s descendants — none of whom Rep. Rios would name — “just want to see if Billy could be pardoned, for the peace of mind of whoever is left who knew Billy,” Rios told the Associated Press. But like the Marc Green pardon, not everyone is happy with the idea. Bennett Brady, 70, the grandson of Sheriff William Brady, who was ambushed by Billy and others in southern New Mexico on April 1, 1878, says of the pardon, “Whoever said something like that has got to be crazy.” Meanwhile, another old outlaw, Jesse James, is also making news. An amateur historian has launched a legal effort to solve once and for all where the 19th century bandit is buried. James died in 1951, at the age of 104, believes Bud Hardcastle, a used car dealer from Purcell, Okla., while others have said that James was shot and killed by a member of his own gang on April 3, 1882. “I know what I’m talking about, and I’m not going to quit,” Hardcastle told the AP.

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