WDAM Viewpoint- Court upholds Gov's Pardons - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

WDAM Viewpoint- Court upholds Gov's Pardons

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Just before leaving office, former Governor Haley Barbour granted pardons to 198 convicted felons.  Some were violent offenders.  At the time we called it the biggest pardon of felons since Castro's Muriel Boat Lift.  The large number of pardons and the outcry against them made national news and over 70% of people polled in Mississippi felt the laws should be changed to avoid such wholesale pardoning in the future.  Current Governor, Phil Bryant agrees with that sentiment even though it would limit his own power.  Attorney General, Jim Hood filed suit to try and void the pardons.  Yesterday, the state Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion, upheld the governor's constitutional right of basic autonomy when it comes to pardoning those convicted of crimes.  Given the strong public sentiment in the state prompted by this controversial move by the former Governor…we think it should be put on the ballot as a referendum for the people to decide.  Already a bill has died in the state legislature that would change the policy.  Politics being what they are…no such bill probably will ever stand much of a change.  We hope the people get a chance to decide on this issue in the near future.  I'm Jim Cameron.  Write and let us know what you think.