Billy the Kid May Finally Get His Pardon
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will decide by year's end
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2010 8:09 AM CST
1881: Wild West criminal Billy the Kid (1859 - 1881) meets his end at the hands of Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – One of Bill Richardson’s last acts as New Mexico governor could be pardoning Billy the Kid. He’s reviewing a petition to pardon the famed outlaw—killed in 1881 after reportedly killing 21 men—which is based on the claim that Governor Lew Walllace promised the Wild West folk hero a pardon in exchange for testifying at a murder trial.

"As someone who is fascinated with New Mexico's rich history, I've always been intrigued by the story of Billy the Kid and, in particular, the alleged promise of a pardon he was given," Richardson said in a statement. He will make a decision by the end of the year, Reuters reports. Click for more on Billy the Kid’s looming pardon—and why some aren’t happy about it.