Jan 19 (Reuters) - More than three-quarters of the
prisoners and ex-convicts pardoned by former Mississippi
governor Haley Barbour in his final days in office did not meet
the public notice requirements of the state's constitution, the
state's attorney general said Thursday.
Barbour sparked controversy with the pardons, most of which
were granted on his final day in office last week. Among those
on the list were four convicted murderers and an armed robber
who had worked at the governor's mansion on prison work release.
"The attorney general's updated review of the 203 purported
pardons (on the list as published by the secretary of state)
shows that 156 have not met the publication requirements of the
state constitution," Attorney General Jim Hood said in an
Hood last week sought and received an injunction against
those and others on the clemency list on the grounds that their
pardons had not met a state constitutional requirement that a
notice be published in the community where the crimes were
committed. A hearing on the injunctions is scheduled for Monday.
In his statement on Thursday evening, Hood said that of the
individuals on the secretary of state's list of those pardoned
by Barbour, 116 had insufficient advance publication and 40 had
no published notice at all.
Hood is still investigating whether 26 others on the pardon
list met the public notice requirement, he said.
Barbour's move prompted the office of Governor Phil Bryant,
who served as Barbour's lieutenant governor and took office
earlier this month, to announce support for a state
constitutional amendment to tweak the governor's clemency
A judge has also suspended releases of newly pardoned
Typically, governors would offer a commutation, which reduces
the length of a sentence, rather than a full pardon for convicts
still in jail, experts said. A pardon restores certain civil
rights, such as the ability to own a gun or obtain state
licenses - rights Barbour referred to in explaining his actions.
(Reporting By Dan Burns; editing by Cynthia Johnston and Philip
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.