OLYMPIA—"Until I have assurances of how Arkansas will deal with these kinds of circumstances in the future I am not willing to have anybody come into this state from Arkansas," said Gregoire at a press conference at the capitol in Olympia.
Gregiore has effectively shut the door on parolees from Arkansas. Maurice Clemmons was one of them.
For months leading up to the murders of the 4 Lakewood officers there was a flurry of emails between the Washington Department of corrections here and the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Emails that show the growing fear about what would happen if this guy got out, but also confusion about how to keep him behind bars.
Prosecutors here say the Arkansas DOC messed up the paperwork when it issued a new warrant to keep Clemmons from posting bail following his arrest on assault and rape charges in May. Now, the governor says she won't let in any other parolees until she can figure out how that happened and why.
"It's one of the toughest decisions a governor makes," she said.
But she does sympathize with Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. He's getting trashed in the media for reducing Clemmons' sentence in 2000 and allowing him to get out of jail decades early.
During his two terms as governor Huckabee granted clemency to more than a thousand criminals. Gregoire has done so for a little more than two dozen.
"My heart goes out to him," she said, "because I can only imagine how heavy his heart his and how heavy his conscience is knowing he did the best he did and this terrible tragedy has come about."
There is one small detail that prosecutors here say is a very big mistake by someone handing these warrants in Arkansas.
On the first warrant issued in May there is a short notation on top that says "confirm entry in ACIC."
Prosecutors here say that tells who ever received this warrant to put it in the national database - that way everybody would get it.
But on the second warrant issued in October that could have kept Clemmons behind bars, it does not have that specific request.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says because of that they didn't get it.
Wednesday night Arkansas Prosecutors admitted they did not issue a nationwide warrant the second time around, because they say they say at that point they knew where Clemmons was - and didn't need to.
Prosecutors here argue they should have been properly informed, because as far as they knew, there was no warrant anymore and Clemmons could post bail - and he did.