Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour pardons nearly 200, including convicted killers
(CBS/AP) JACKSON, Miss. - In his final days as Mississippi governor, Republican Haley Barbour gave pardons or early releases to nearly 200 people, including more than two dozen whose crimes were listed as murder, manslaughter or homicide.
State records released Tuesday show some of the convicted killers were pardoned, while others were given medical or conditional releases. Barbour had released five other convicted killers in 2008. One of them had been granted a conditional release and was pardoned this time.
Relatives of crime victims had voiced outrage Monday after it was revealed that Barbour had pardoned four convicted murderers. Those men had worked at the governor's mansion as part of a program for inmates who earned special privileges.
The Mississippi Secretary of State's Office released a complete list of pardons and other executive actions Tuesday, Barbour's last day. He had served two terms and couldn't run again due to term limits.
In addition to those convicted of manslaughter and murder, Barbour gave early release to people convicted of drug crimes, DUI deaths, burglary and kidnapping. Many of the people were already out of prison or otherwise free.
Among those getting full pardons was the brother of former NFL quarterback and Southern Miss standout Brett Favre. Earnest Scott Favre had his record cleared in the 1996 death of his best friend, Mark Haverty. Favre had driven in front of a train in Pass Christian while drunk, pleaded guilty in 1997, and was sentenced to a year of house arrest followed by two years' probation.
Barbour is a conservative who considered running for president in this year's GOP primary, before deciding against it. Like many Republicans, Barbour has taken a tough stance on crime at times. But he also signed legislation in 2008 that made thousands of nonviolent inmates eligible to be considered for parole after serving a portion of their sentence. That legislation was aimed at easing crowded conditions in the state's prisons and saving money.
Inmates on death row have not benefited from the governor's clemency power under Barbour. Nine men were executed during his time in office. He spared none on death row.