Willie Horton was neither pardoned nor paroled by Governor Dukakis. In fact he is still in prison serving life with no possibility of parole. He became famous because while he was incarcerated for a prior crime, he became eligible for a weekend furlough program that actually had started prior to Dukakis (in fact Reagan signed a law authorizing a similar program while governor of California). Unfortunately while on furlough he committed a murder. This terrible situation was used effectively (especially with his mug shots showing him being a "scary looking black man") to brand Dukakis as soft on crime despite his actually having nothing to do with the case.