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. zenman

    Theres 2 sets of laws,1 for rich 1 for poor, garbage in garbage out,same ol same ol. Folks need to wake up and SHOUT! ST0P THE BS!

    March 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. red1

    This sounds like a call to all the crazies out there. All those who would take the law into their own hands.. Sleep tight folks.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. High Hopes (if not for you)

    I can sum it up in one word:


    ~I agree with Zenman…

    March 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. StephenMS

    I don't get it. The pardons weren't done according to the law. That makes them illegal. And the Mississippi Supreme Court says that they can't be voided by the judicial branch on the basis that they were illegal?

    What the heck CAN the court do, then?

    March 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      they argued that they were illegal, but they were LEGAL.

      March 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • karlheiz

      the court make legal, game over

      March 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jozett

    What does that say about the people who elected him and gave him that power in the first place?? See, there needs to be a lot more investigating of candidates, BEFORE they gain infinite power.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    And all those *dangerous* marijuana smokers should be left in
    If you do not follow procedure then it is illegal. Is this judge bias?

    March 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Idomyownresearch

    First off, most of the people commenting on this post are ill informed. If you would do your own research instead of reading what someone else researched, you would know that over 90 percent of those pardoned had already been released and the pardon was to assist them with gainful employment. Stop taking someones words as facts and do your own research!!

    March 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • MRW

      Thank you

      March 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • What..

      Still leaves the 10% that were still serving their sentences. Why should convicted murderers be allowed to expunge their record anyways? they killed someone.. it's called consequences.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dott

    A law is a law and can't be changed to suit the masses. If the law needs to be changed then do it but for now what he dad was legal by the current law.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Don I would kindly ask that you read my post again. I was posting about the law not the action of the people pardoned. If a law states that the governor can pardon then that is how it is and he can pardon. Does that clear it up a little for you.

      March 9, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    So, it is your EXPERT opinion that people who commit a crime cannot change? Whatever they did, how big or small, they can't change. Can't come to understand their own actions and change themselves for the better. They should pay for whatever crime they committed for the rest of their lives?

    That is exactly what happens today! Without a "pardon" someone convicted of a crime pays for it the rest of their lives! If they are convicted of a felony, they lose their US citizenship. They can't even vote. Did you know that? As for earning a decent living, forget it. Companies don't hire people that have a criminal record for anything other than menial labor. What a waste.

    A good example recently happened. The Dr. that was convicted of negligent homicide in the death of Michael Jackson. He made a mistake. Now, he will pay for it the rest of his life. He can never be a Dr. again – anywhere. Not that he's necessarily a good DR.. Don't know. But I'm sure that he helped cure, or assist, his many other patients. Maybe he saved many people's lives before he made a mistake. Now, how many lives will NOT be saved by him in the future? Who are we to judge?

    My perspective is that people change. If they commit a crime, are convicted, sentenced, and serve their sentence, that should be it. PERIOD! Any reference, record, anything related to it should never exist thereafter.

    The governor did what was right, legal, and just.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. This_blank

    Thousands of high risk convicts are released from prison year after year after year every single day of the year these 214 arent even a drop in the bucket

    March 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ben

    The best thing to come of this is Barbour has made himself politically dead.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Oracle

    Where was CNN and Andersen's outrage when Bill Clinton did 39 commuted sentences for federal death row inmates, fraud and racketeering convictions, theft of $1.2 million in federal grant money, tax fraud, cocaine trafficking.
    Also 150 pardons for felons. including his half-brother's cocaine charges and several of his convicted members of his administration.
    Typical one sided coverage.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bigwilliestyles

    Screwed by yer own mule. Gotta luv those "state's rights" advocates gone suddenly pale; those "strict consti.tutionalists" struck dumb; all the "law and order" folks in disagreement with 'the law'; how utterly poetic.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hello, bigwilliestyles.
      We've missed you here.
      I hope you are well.

      March 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bigwilliestyles

    I'm fine Banasy. Trying to get another business up and running; takes up lots of former blogging time. Also don't like the new blog set-up from my Blackberry; cuts most of the comments, and I really enjoy reading the comments, even when I don't agree with them. Oh well, K-Sarah-Sarah!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Switch from the mobile version to the regular version at the bottom of the page.
      You'll be able to see all the comments then.

      I wish you the very best in your newest endeavor.
      May your success surpass your wildest dreams!

      March 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BettyAnn Thompson Byard

    I have lived in Mississippi all my life and that is over 50 years and this day I am sad to say I live in this state...My friend Ricky Montgomery was killed in cold blood by Joseph Ozment and he can now have a life to do as he wishes and Ricky will never have that is so sad....but let me tell you JOSEPH OZMENT in the end my good Lord will have the LAST JUDGEMENTand I pray that you will be ready to burn in He-

    March 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
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