Posted Jan 10, 2012 03:08 pm CST
Four convicted murders were released on Sunday after receiving pardons from outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
The men had worked as trustees living and working at the governor’s mansion, a perk given for good behavior, report the Sun Herald and the Associated Press. AP learned of the pardons through outraged relatives of three victims. In addition to the convicted murderers, Barbour also pardoned an inmate serving a life sentence for burglary after two previous convictions.
The Mississippi Parole Board denied parole for one of the inmates, David Gatlin, on Dec. 27. Gatlin had killed his estranged wife and shot her friend, Randy Walker, who survived. Walker told AP and the Sun Herald he previously supported Barbour. “I’m totally disgusted,” he told AP.
Barbour didn’t comment, but he told AP in 2008 that releasing the trustees is a decades-old tradition.