Sunday 19 January 2020

A late pardon for Billy the Kid

David Usborne in New York

HE WAS a feared gunslinger and outlaw who was steeped in the blood of many men.

Now, 129 years after his death, Billy the Kid may be about to receive a pardon from the governor of New Mexico -- the territory where his final exploits were played out.

Generations raised on westerns have shared a fascination for the Kid, who was -- possibly -- gunned down by sheriff Pat Garrett in July 1881 after he had shot his way out of a local jail, killing two deputies.

Newspaper reports this week claimed Governor Bill Richardson is on the brink of delivering the long-dangled pardon, but that was disputed by members of his staff. Nevertheless the suggestion has been enough to stir the anger of those who are opposed to any such move.

Historian Drew Gomber told the 'El Paso Times': "It's a publicity stunt by the governor." (© Independent News Service)

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