Mayor Bill Richardson of New Mexico plans to pardon Billy the Kid in the near future. The outlaw, aka William Bonny and Kid Antrim, whose real name was Henry McCarty, was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett, and both were of Irish decent. Garrett's ancestors still reside in New Mexico, and met with the governor in Santa Fe to dissuade his decision. Governor Richardson, however, is undecided.
Throughout American history, questionable pardons have been given. For starters, there were the Whiskey Rebels of 1794. And following the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson pardoned all ex-Confederates. General Longstreet was pardoned by Congress in June of 1868. President Nixon pardoned Jimmy Hoffa, and President Ford pardoned Nixon. President Jimmy Carter, during his administration, pardoned Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee posthumously.
According to the Associated Press, Governor Richardson is considering a pardon because of an old pending pardon that was never upheld. New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace failed to fulfill his promise to pardon the Kid after Billy testified about killings that occurred during the 1878 range wars.