Mississippi Governor Pardons

January 12, 2012 by staff 

Mississippi Governor PardonsMississippi Governor Pardons, The announcement that outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour approved full pardons for nearly 200 people, including 14 murderers, has created somewhat of a firestorm. Among those pardoned, four convicted murderers and a convicted armed robber have already been released. A judge issued a temporary injunction forbidding the release of any more prisoners Barbour pardoned or gave clemency to before leaving office this week.

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie Green issued the injunction Wednesday, saying it appeared that some pardons, including those for four murderers, did not meet the state’s requirement that pardon requests be published 30 days before they are granted. Any inmates released in the future must meet the standard, Green ruled.

The already released prisoners now must contact prison officials on a daily basis as their fate is adjudicated. They were all serving life sentences and worked as inmate trusties at the governor’s mansion, said Suzanne Singletary, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Trusties are inmates who can receive additional rights through good behavior.

The move has left many people scratching their heads and asking questions about both the legality and motives behind Barbour’s actions. The state’s attorney general chastised Barbour, saying his actions violated the state constitution. For families of the victims, the issue is clearly more personal. And they’re not just angry, but confused about why this happened and how the releases may affect them.

We’ve asked CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin to help explain what Barbour did, the criticism he’s drawn, and what his actions could mean for those pardoned and for the public.

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