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. Yakobi

    Have you noticed that Haley Barbour looked like the offspring between Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard and a sow? In this case, looks weren't deceiving–he truly was a pig.

    There's an easy way to fix this: The legislature should change the law so that governors can't pardon anyone the last year in office. I bet you'd see a lot fewer pardons issued because they'd still be beholden to the people!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • john smiith

      I agree. And the same for presidents

      March 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAMES

      The senate tried to get a bill out of committee to limit the governor's pardoning powers, but it was killed by a Democratic Committe Chair in the MS Senate. Ironic how the States Democrats were shouting down Republicans for their "Catch and Release" program when the pardons happened, yet when the Republican sponsored bill made it to the Judicial B Committee for approval, it was killed by Chairperson, Sen. Hobb Bryant (D).

      It will never make it out for a vote... pretty Hypocritical IMO.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike katz

      Don't you love it! The republicans always accuse democrats of being soft on crime, yet this conservative member of the GOP goes and lets a bunch of murderers out of prison. Republicans are a lot of hypocrits.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Laurie

    Surpeme Court look out because here comes Jim Hood – and rightfully so.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. madmatt

    Once again its not a crime for rich white republicans to break the law.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Or lie!

      March 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cplus

      Same with rich white and black Dems!

      March 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CJ

    Conserative values at work.....diss women and women;s rights , let crimals go free, sounds like a plan for a political coup in Nov for the GOP!
    Wonder what else they have up their sleeves,,,these worked so well!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      the things you liberals come up with will never cease to amaze me

      March 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cplus

      I bet most of the ones that got pardons voted dem when they could vote. You know all those rich white republicans wouldn't be in jail in the first place.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john smiith

    This is a case where what is legal is not what is right

    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Disorder

      It seldom is these days.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. americanjello

    At least most of the pardoned have left Mississippi. 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Yeah , lucky us (as in other surrounding states)

      March 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skae

      Oh swell they are spread throughout the US – the fingerprints of these murderers need to be on a high alert list everywhere.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lando

    Put this pig in the slammer instead..

    March 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristal

      agreed the fxxkin nerve because they worked 4 in at the mansion we know what work was performed don't we

      March 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bigge

    If you remember the guy was a GOP Presidential hopeful....

    March 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Roberto

    I believe the key question is why governors and even the president allowed to give pardons to anyone that has been judged as guilty in the court of law? What happened to the separation of 3 branches of government?

    March 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. americanjello

    and at least Barbour is no longer governor of this God-forsaken place.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    I believe, and I am sure I will be insulted over and over again by people on this site, that the court made the right decision. Wether or not Barbour should have pardoned who he did is not the issue, but that a pardon is just that and is irreversible. You cannot take a man out of jail and then say "woops we need to put you back" otherwise anytime anyone has been pardoned you would see it chahllenged over and over again.
    Now Barbour may have abused his power and perhaps something can be done to him in the criminal or civil courts, but the men he freed cannot just be thrown back in jail.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristal

      i hope they move next door 2 u c how that opionion changes

      March 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Here! Here! You got it right!

      March 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Meaning Paul, not Kristal. As for her, if the pardoned persons moved next door to me, it would probably be a hell of a lot better than if she moved next door to me.

      March 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kat

    I hear money exchanging hands!

    March 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBrennan

      Sure – those 200 folks who were mostly poor when they committed their crimes managed to put aside big money working in the prison commissary. I'm sure that there are a couple of token rich people in the lot, but crime, and especially prison, are tied pretty heavily in to class. This is not a money issue, but it's an interesting step for a former Republican candidate for the Presidency. Maybe he had a change of heart and realized that some people can truly be reformed and deserve a chance again at life outside of prison. It certainly defied expectations when he did this.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. agp

    larry5 wrote:

    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".

    Wow! Where to begin with this one. First, what does Obama have to do with this? Seems you have Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    Second, this happened in one of the most conservative (if not most conservative) state in the country. I thought this only happened in Liberal/Communist states that are not "tough on crime." Remember when Mike Huckabee (former governor of Arkansas) decided to pardon a thug who then went across the country and murdered 4 Washington State police officers as they sat drinking their coffee at a restaurant? They probably never knew what hit them.

    Larry5, please direct your anger at the appropriate sources. So much for Conservatives/Republicans being tough on crime.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Skae

    The law MUST be changed to avoid this happening again.

    I just hope that doofus Barbour gets what is coming to him – karma.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      I hope they give hi a medal, for having the balls to make a tough decision(s) and stand by it in the face of enormous opposition.

      March 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Venturer

    The Mississippi legislature should change the law so that no pardons can be given by the Governor within 180 days of leaving office, and they would not be effective until the Governor leaves office. That would give time for any legal challenges to his choices.

    March 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
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