Friday, July 25, 2008

Mississippi: Gov. Still on Defense

The Sun Herald reports Gov. Haley Barbour is promising to "do a better job of responding to public comment if he pardons or suspends the sentence of an inmate." The promise comes after Barbour appeared to grant clemency in one case, but not in another. It is reported that "one of the criticisms" out there involves the Governor's "lack of response to the calls, e-mails and letters from people on the Coast asking him to reconsider." Barbour admits there was not a "very good system for responding to the public comment" but promises to "get to the bottom of that and get that straightened out."

Meanwhile Barbour has explained that he has not commuted the life sentence of Michael David Graham, but has merely "suspended" it. In contrast, he granted four pardons around the same time that he suspended the sentence. As such, what the Governor did was the equivalent of granting parole. Indeed, Graham will report regularly to a parole officer. See story here.

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