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Barbour's Pardons Spark National Outrage


A Mississippi judge has halted the release of 21 inmates that recently received pardons by former governor Haley Barbour.

Barbour garnered national attention when he pardoned nearly 200 convicted felons during his last days in office, with a reported four of them being convicted killers. However, CNN reported that the number of murders pardoned has reached 16, including five that Barbour pardoned back in 2008.


Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed an injunction with Circuit Judge Tomie Green in an attempt to halt the process. Hood cited Mississippi state law that demands Barbour give notice of the pardons in writing 30 days prior—-an action that Hood believes Barbour failed to do.
Green granted the injunction late Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 11, leaving the remaining 21 inmates behind bars for the time being. The fate of the 21 inmates, as well as the other 178 convicts, will be determined at a Jan. 23 court hearing.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hood said of the former governor, “He’s tried to rule the state like Boss Hogg and he didn’t think the law applied to him.”
Hood also added that the pardons are “a slap in the face to everyone in law enforcement and Gov. Barbour should be ashamed.”
The former governor initially refrained from commenting on the pardons and when asked by the Associated Press on Tuesday how the pardons affected the victims’ families, Barbour responded, “It’s Phil Bryant’s day,” alluding to the start of the new governor’s term
However, the office of the former governor released a statement Wednesday: “Some people have misunderstood the clemency process and think that all or most of the individuals who received clemency from former Gov. Haley Barbour were in jail at the time of their release. Approximately 90 percent of these individuals were no longer in custody, and a majority of them had been out for years. The pardons were intended to allow them to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote. My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases. The 26 people released from custody due to clemency is just slightly more than one-tenth of one percent of those incarcerated.
“Half of the people who were incarcerated and released were placed on indefinite suspension due to medical reasons because their health care expenses while incarcerated were costing the state so much money. These individuals suffer from severe chronic illnesses, are on dialysis, in wheelchairs or are bedridden. They are not threats to society but if any of them commits an offense – even a misdemeanor – they’ll be returned to custody to serve out their term.
“Of the inmates released for medical reasons, a small number were placed on house arrest, and all still remain under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.”
According to reports, four of the convicted murders were apparently trustees at the governor’s mansion and pardoning trustees has long been “tradition.”
Those four trustees are David Gatlin; convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife in 1993 as she held their infant son; Joseph Ozment, convicted in 1994 of killing a man during a robbery in McComb; Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 of killing his wife; Charles Hooker, sentenced to life in 1992 for murder; and Nathan Kern, sentenced to life in 1982 for burglary after at least two prior convictions. According to the Mississippi Department of Corrections, all four men were released Sunday evening.
Not all of the 200 now former inmates were given pardons. Some were given conditional releases due to medical illnesses. According to state records, of the 200, over a dozen were convicted of murder, manslaughter and homicide.
In addition to the five trustees that were pardoned by the former governor, NFL superstar and Southern Miss alum Bret Favre’s brother also received a full pardon. Earnest Scott Favre was convicted in 1997 for the death of his friend, Mark Haverty. According to reports, Favre drove a vehicle in front of a train while intoxicated, killing his friend on impact. Favre received one year of house arrest and two years probation.



  1. and it should of! They are trying to find the 4 that were released this past weekend – they have NO idea where they are and that is scary! Are any of the people that he pardoned that were convicted of rape/sexual assault alive still? And if so – they don’t have to register as sex offenders – they could live next to any of us and we wouldn’t know it!

  2. We need to start killing the killers and rapists. Why house them and feed them when our innocent children and elderly go without? They’re letting murderers and rapists go free because of overcrowding. If they would quit imprisoning the nonviolent or first time drug offenders and go after the real criminals this country wouldn’t be in the shape its in.

  3. Haley Barbour should be ASHAMED of himself!!! Giving an outgoing governor this power to release major criminals is one of the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard of. Change the laws NOW!!!!

  4. We should be ashamed of OURSELVES for allowing governors the power/privilege to commute/pardon setences that courts/jurors have determined as the voice of the people. That “power” demeans the judicial system and the trial process of being adjudged by a jury of ones’ peers. And further, to exercise that power and privilege upon leaving his duties as governor is nothing short of cowardice in that he has no one to answer to for his actions.

  5. kevin jaudon

    Barbour is ascumbag and has always been a self serving punk who has lined his pockets deceiving all the citizens of Mississippi and has now even more leverage in his lobbying scams .Shame on him and anyone who does business with him and his thieving friends.A great day is coming for him and his kind.

  6. CarolO

    This Governor has always been a jerk. He didn’t even follow his own laws in releasing these murders. A pardon means they can walk away without even a criminal record. White collar crimes or drugs is one thing. These guys murdered in cold blood.

  7. Pingback: Haley Barbour Pardons 4 Killers – All Trustees in Governors Mansion: Pardoning Trustees is Tradition | FavStocks

  8. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    What is not being reported by the Mississippi Main Stream Media is that the release of Karen Irby cost the Irby oligarchy something like 20 plus million dollars, which was donated to a variety of charities.

    The families of the two doctors killed by Karen and her drunken husband were part of the deal. Karen Irby’s release is conditional.

    So, why is keeping her in prison for twenty years “justice?”

    Maybe it’s poetic justice for the millions of dollars that Stuart C. Irby, along with Dickie Scruggs, Jim Barksdale, Archie Manning etal., contributed to the fund to trash the Mississippi State flag and replace it with a politically correct one.?

  9. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Most of those pardoned by Barbour were already released and Barbour has said that his actions were directed at restoring civil rights so that these people can get a job, vote and own a gun.

    His granting of pardons was probably the most apolitical act that he has ever done in his life.

    I have never voted for him, nor would I in the future.

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