Who got pardons or clemency in 2010? A surprise list of people and animals.

From Apple and Cider to Jim Morrison, those who received reprieves this year don’t always fit the mold. Here is a look at five reprieves in 2010, plus one pending petition.

1. Billy the Kid: A promised but deferred reprieve?


Henry McCarty, aka William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid struck fear in the New Mexico countryside in the late 1870s and early 1880s, notching his gun belt with as many as 21 murders.

He is now a fixture in Wild West history and a tourist draw for New Mexico, where fans still trace the adventures he carved into the lawless plateaus.

But before he was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett, then-Gov. Lew Wallace had vowed to annul pending charges against him, the Kid's supporters claim – in return for testimony in a murder trial for three other men. The pending charges against the baby-faced gunfighter included ones related to the 1878 shooting death of Sheriff William Brady.

Kid gave the testimony, but an annulment was not forthcoming.

"Here's the ironic thing," Randi McGinn, an Albuquerque, N.M., lawyer who filed a posthumous pardon petition on Kid's behalf, told the Los Angeles Times. "The outlaw kept his promise. The governor didn't."

In Texas’ El Paso Times, historian Bernie Sargent called the pardon petition "childish" and a "publicity stunt."

Outgoing New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), who has had an interest in the case since he took office eight years ago, has vowed to make a decision on the pardon request by Dec. 31, his last day in office.

"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," Governor Richardson said in a statement.

If the pardon is granted, it would not exonerate Kid for all his crimes. It would only make good on Mr. Wallace's promised reprieve, Richardson's office has said.

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