March 8th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Court: Barbour's Mississippi pardons are valid

Mississippi's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the pardons of more than 200 convicts issued by Gov. Haley Barbour on his way out of office, rejecting a challenge by the state's attorney general.

Attorney General Jim Hood had argued in court last month that Barbour failed to follow state law by filing proper notice in newspapers where the inmates' crimes had been committed.

But in its opinion Thursday, the high court wrote that the pardons "may not be set aside or voided by the judicial branch" on those grounds.

Among those Barbour pardoned before he left office in January were many convicted murderers, including four who had worked as "trusties" at the governor's mansion. Critics argued that the governor failed to consider the families of their victims before freeing them.

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. lawyerbetty

    that's sad. He let people who murdered their girlfriends/wives go free and now another woman will be in danger...smh boy that governor is horrible

    March 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lawyerbetty

    not only is the man racist but you let go murders who should have had the death penalty? what if your daughter ends up with one of those guys? smh

    March 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bfpierce

      Don't ever let me hire you as a lawyer, because you're clearly biased towards emotion lol

      March 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Aqu

    If the law says he can pardon then why not, and if the law has been used against then it can used for!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • whoneedslaws

      so the state law that requires 30 day notice no longer applies? they didnt actually consider the law, just covered barbours butt.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brian

    What's up with that. Does anyone bother to guess why he pardoned these criminal right before he left office? This is like a man on his last breath; he does not need to worry about the consequence of what he says or does. American justice is a joke. One single person's BIASED opinion can toss out the judge and jury's decisions..... what a joke. Don't tell me to take it seriously until it's fixed.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Maybe that was his point. Maybe he did this to show that no one man should have such power and revoke those rights to pardon from a governor. I mean even within the parole and review boards for potentially wrongfully convicted murderers on death row, I believe the decision should be made by more that one person. I mean they were convicted by a jury in most cases (unless they had a bench trial in rare cases), so why should their not be a jury to oversee potential miss-convictions as well.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jill-IN

    What a sad sad state of affairs. Unbelievable. And one young woman's life is already snuffed out because of these releases.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pmn

    Here is the reality check...half (or more) of the people he pardoned will be back in prison sooner or later. The governor should be held accountable if anyone is harmed by these criminals!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    He should be put away himself! What an idiot!!!! There is absolutely nothing that he can do or justify in his head for his actions. What a shameful excuse for a governor. Wow!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hippediva

    How very tragic.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel Brennan

    If I had a loved one who was murdered by one of the pardoned inmates, I would shoot Haley Barbour in the head. I hope someone does.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Davis

    The solution is obvious: don't vote for Republicans.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. larry5

    This is the new America. Government officials are not responsible for their actions. And they know how you should live your life, too. There's a name for it, "Hope and change".

    March 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Helen Brooks

    Sad...lynching was a "valid" way of life at some point in America's sick history...doesn't make it right. The letter of the law has historically been used in the DEEP south to satisfy an agenda whether humanistic or heart breaks for the relatives of the murdered who now confront the reality that in an elected official's mind, their lives had no value.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. agp

    The Mississippi Supreme Court only rules on legal matters. It does not venture into the moral arena because that is not its job. What is legal is not always moral and vice-verse. Clearly the pardons were legal but morally they were horrible.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jimmy

    Doesnt he work for Butler Snow now, law firm in Jackson, MS?

    March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Panties

    I totally approve. Haley Barbour is a great man. He knows what he is doing.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
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