Gov. Bill Richardson (D) of New Mexico is in office for another seven days, and, to hear him tell it, he has one big decision left to make: whether or not to pardon Billy the Kid.

Richardson said Thursday on CNN that he is poring over records related to the infamous 19th century teen outlaw, who died in 1881.

“I've considered this for the last eight years,” said Richardson, a former Democratic presidential candidate who will finish his second term on Dec. 31. “I'm looking at all of the documentation. I've heard from people around the world. It's about 52-48 in favor of the pardon.”

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Richardson said he would not issue a “blanket pardon” for Billy the Kid, whose real name was Henry McCarty and chief alias was William Bonney. The gunslinger was killed after he escaped from jail, where he was to be executed for the murder of two deputies. He has long since become a symbol of the American Wild West.

At issue for Richardson is whether a former territorial governor of New Mexico, Lew Wallace, agreed and later reneged on a promise to pardon Bonney in exchange for his testimony in a murder case.

Descendants of Wallace and of Pat Garrett, the sheriff who killed Bonney, say there was no pardon pledge.

“This is what I'm trying to find out,” Richardson said. “Was this commitment by the governor, is it valid? Is it documented? Some say yes. Obviously, the descendants say no.”

Richardson was coy when pressed by CNN’s John Roberts about which way he is leaning, but he relished the attention his decision was bringing to New Mexico, saying the publicity about Western legend benefited the state.

“I'm going to string it out a little bit,” Richardson said.