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Mississippi Supreme Court asked to reconsider pardons of more than 200 convicted criminals

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 23, 2012 14:38 EDT
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Mississippi's state supreme court has been asked to rethink its decision to uphold the pardoning of more than 200 convicted criminals, including murders and rapists, by a former governor, Haley Barbour, pictured in 2011. (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)
 
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Mississippi’s state supreme court has been asked to rethink its decision to uphold the pardoning of more than 200 convicted criminals, including murders and rapists, by a former governor.

In a motion for reconsideration filed in the state capital Jackson, state attorney general Jim Hood said granting a pardon implicated “the private personal rights” of crimes victims.

That fact alone, he said, was reason enough for the court to take a second look at its March 8 decision to uphold the 215 pardons issued by former Republican governor Haley Barbour, whose term in office ended in January.

Hood, a Democrat, had previously argued to the court that Barbour’s pardons did not stand up to the state’s constitution, which requires requests for pardons to be made public 30 days in advance.

“The separation of powers doctrine does not preclude this court from reviewing the legality of a gubernatorial pardon,” added Hood in his motion for reconsideration, filed on Thursday and seen by AFP on Friday.

Among Barbour’s pardon spree during his last days in office were 26 people in custody, to whom Barbour granted 10 full pardons, 13 medical releases, one suspension of sentence, one conditional and indefinite suspension of sentence and one conditional clemency.

There were 14 convicted murderers among those pardoned.

(Mississippi’s state supreme court has been asked to rethink its decision to uphold the pardoning of more than 200 convicted criminals, including murders and rapists, by a former governor, Haley Barbour, pictured in 2011. AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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