Billy the Kid fails to win pardon


New Mexico governor Bill Richardson refused to grant a pardon to Billy the Kid (AP)

The Old West outlaw Billy the Kid will not be receiving a pardon, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has said.

The prospect of a pardon for the notorious frontier figure who died in 1881 had drawn international attention.

The issue centres on whether Billy the Kid had been promised a pardon from New Mexico’s territorial governor in return for testimony in killings he had witnessed.

The proposed pardon covers the 1878 killing of a county sheriff. Billy the Kid was shot dead a few months after escaping from the jail where he was awaiting hanging for the sheriff’s murder.

According to legend, Billy the Kid killed 21 people, one for each year of his life. The New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.

Mr Richardson, who made his announcement on ABC’s Good Morning America TV programme, leaves office at midnight on Friday.

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