Skip to comments.Hood: Some Barbour Pardons May Violate Constitution
Posted on 01/11/2012 4:16:23 PM PST by WKB
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said he is taking legal action in response to pardons issued by outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour.
Hood said a court battle is ahead over five inmates Barbour pardoned on Friday. All five men served as trusties at the Governor's Mansion. Four of the five had been convicted of murder.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Hood said Barbour violated the state Constitution because the pardon requests from the inmates were not published 30 days in advance, as required. State law requires that before the governor can grant a pardon, sufficient public notice must be given, Hood said. Barbour left office on Tuesday, after Phil Bryant was sworn in as governor. That same day, Barbour granted pardons for more than 200 convicts, including 20 convicted of murder, manslaughter or homicide. Barbour also issued pardons to several others for charges ranging from rape to robbery.
Read: Gov. Haley Barbour Pardons 2004-2012
"It's a slap in the face to me as a prosecutor, after serving 20 years, that we have to go back and try to round up all these convicts that have been turned loose and try to fix the mess that he's created." Hood said. "He ought to be ashamed."
Hood, a Democrat, was going to state court late Wednesday to ask a state judge to halt the release of any inmates pardoned by Barbour if they are still awaiting the completion of paperwork to be released.
Barbour also suspended some sentences and ordered conditional clemency for Karen Irby, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to manslaughter in connection with the deaths of doctors Lisa Dedousis and Daniel Pogue, who were killed in a 2009 crash in Jackson. Irby will be released from prison and will have to serve three years of house arrest and two years of probation, under Barbours order.
Some Lawmakers Seek Pardon Accountability
Lisa Dedousis' brother, Dr. John Dedousis, said his family was not notified of the clemency order. He said they heard about it through the news media.
"I was shocked when I heard, saw and read this," John Dedousis said. "This is so much bigger than Karen Irby. What your governor has done is totally insane. Over 200 criminals, including murderers and rapists, pardoned. Talk about a travesty of justice, for the victims, the families, for all the people of Mississippi."
John Dedousis said he has contacted his attorney, who has spoken to Hood's office about whether the required procedures and laws were followed in granting clemency to Irby.
"We need to follow him and hold him accountable and not let him get away with this," John Dedousis said. "I am so upset, I have already started a Facebook page called Victims of Mississippi Pardons. I hope that we can unite and come together with ideas how to fight this unprecedented tragedy."
Barbour was in Miami on Wednesday, where he was scheduled to speak. He has not had any comment about the pardons.
All that is well and good but for me this is too little too late. The one Jackson socialite who had one too many, is one too many.
Thank you so much for your post.
That explains some of it.
It’s good to “see” you. ;o)
Thanks, too, for your post, I7.
I totally agree with you, WKB. One too many...no matter who it is...is one too many.
It’s, overall, a sad day for Missippy.
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