Constitutional Law

Mississippi High Court Takes Up Haley Barbour Pardons Case

Mississippi’s high court has agreed to consider a legal challenge to pardons then-Gov. Haley Barbour handed out last month in his final days in office.

State Attorney General Jim Hood is seeking to invalidate dozens of Barbour’s 198 pardons, maintaining many of them violated Mississippi’s constitutional requirement that notice be published 30 days in advance of any reprieve.

Barbour has maintained the pardons are valid.

The Associated Press reports that most of the people who could lose their pardons have already served their sentences and have been out of prison for years. Included are some convicted of minor crimes, decades old.

In mid-January, a judge blocked the release of 21 inmates pardoned by Barbour. The decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court to take up the case also includes an order to extend that injunction.

The high court set a Feb. 9 hearing date and indicated it would rule quickly.

Related coverage:

Jackson Clarion Ledger: “Pardoned ex-trusty found in Wyoming”

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