Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Barbour: Publication of Pardons "Doesn't Matter"

The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports that Tom Fortner, an attorney for four of the five pardoned criminals who worked as trusties at the Governor's Mansion, has filed a petition asking the Mississippi State Supreme Court to give immediate consideration the State attorney general's attempt to overturn most of Haley Barbour's last-minute pardons. More specifically, Fortner aims to have the Court decide that it actually does not have the power to review any of Barbour's pardons. Fortner calls it a "separation of powers" issue.

Attorney General Jim Hood, however, reads the following in the State's constitution:
In all criminal and penal cases, excepting those of treason and impeachment, the Governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the Legislature, and by and with the consent of the senate to remit forfeitures. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves, and by and with consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the Legislature; but no pardon shall be granted before conviction; and in cases of felony, after conviction no pardon shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have published for thirty days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed, and in case there be no newspaper published in said county, then in an adjoining county, his petition for pardon, setting forth therein the reasons why such pardon should be granted.
and questions whether or not publish a notice in the cases was handled properly. Barbour himself says:
"Jim Hood's guy failed to do the publication on time, which by the way doesn't matter under our constitution. And now Jim Hood is suing to take these people's liberty away because his guy didn't do what he said he was going to do."
Hood, however, says Assistant Attorney General David Scott was only involved in publishing the pardon notices because the governor ordered him to do so - after it was already too late. See full story here.

No comments:

blogger templates | Make Money Online