If the “third time is a charm,” a fourth time should be the alarm; that sentiment appears to be spreading among Evergreen State citizens following the arrest of a suspect in the robberies of grocery stores and pharmacies in Seattle who was imprisoned more than 20 years ago as a “three striker.”
The suspect, identified in news reports as David Conyers, was convicted back in 1995 for six Seattle convenience store robberies and sent to prison for life under Washington State’s landmark “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law. That measure was approved by voters after a campaign championed by KVI’s John Carlson, and heavily financed by gun rights organizations and activists.
For some reason, liberals and particularly anti-gunners didn’t seem to care much for the idea of locking up recidivist criminals for life. But voters across the country did, adopting similar measures in several other states after Washington’s Second Amendment community blazed the trail.
Today, Carlson is furious about this case. He has been discussing it on the air, sometimes with colleague Kirby Wilbur during their joint morning broadcasts. Conyers was granted clemency by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2015.
Inslee’s office released a statement Thursday that was publicized by KOMO:
“We find this very disappointing but these are tough decisions and the governor stands behind his original commutation of the sentence. At the time the sentence was commuted, this individual served more than 20 years in prison and was the youngest three-striker in state history. The commutation had the full support of the sentencing judge and prosecutor. It is our understanding that Conyers was on a gradual release plan and currently on work release, meeting all his conditions.”
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg added his own explanation:
“I supported clemency for Mr. Conyers because he served 20 years for a second-degree robbery conviction, and that was substantial punishment that did not warrant a life sentence. It’s unfortunate that it appears he did not take advantage of this opportunity.”
Evidently, Conyers didn’t meet “all his conditions” – otherwise he wouldn’t be in jail – and if he is convicted for these recent robberies, he will have plenty of time to think about that.
This string of holdups was attributed to a suspect dubbed “Bob the Builder” for his repeated use of construction garb, including a hard hat. He allegedly claimed to have a gun, though he may never have actually brandished one.
Lucky for the robber that he never picked a store with an armed clerk or one of King County’s more than 100,000 legally-licensed armed citizens standing in line behind him. It might have added a new and permanent dimension to the term “checkout counter.”
This case has gotten attention all the way back to the East Coast. The New York Daily News covered it the other day. And, as Inslee takes more heat for his stand on immigration enforcement, his clemency toward a repeat offender could remain on everyone’s mind for a long time.