In Mississippi, former Governor Haley Barbor has pardoned 208 convicted felons, four of which are murders and trustees working in the Governor’s mansion. Worse is, that pardoning trustees is a “tradition.” Once pardoned, the entire crime can be expunged from a record, allowing the murderers to vote and own guns, go hunting, etc. Why would a pardon ever be in order for a man who shot his wife dead as she held their infant baby boy? Ever? That’s what David Gatlin, pardon recipient, did. Joseph Ozment (also a wife murderer), Anthony McCray and Charles Hooker were trustees, now pardoned, unless the Courts can overturn the massive undue mercy. Barbour issued a total of 14 pardons for murderers.
Barbour says the pardons were recommended by the Parole Board, and most had already served their full or almost-full sentence. The vast number of pardons are believed not have provided time for families to object, which must be done by law.
A Mississippi judge has issued a temporary block of the release of 21 pardons or medical releases.
Barbour said in a statement Wednesday, a day after leaving office, that he believes people have misunderstood why he gave reprieves to more than 200 inmates. Most received full pardons, while others received suspended sentences because of medical conditions. Barbour said 189 of the inmates had already completed their incarceration.In Wednesday’s statement, Barbour said: “The pardons were intended to allow them to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote. My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases.”
I’m wondering if we have killers working as trustees in the Oklahoma Governor’s mansion, and do we have a tradition of pardoning them, if so. I see no justice in a murderer ever receiving a pardon. It’s about the victim, not about the convicted.