crimesider

Controversial Mississippi pardons temporarily blocked by judge

Haley Barbour
Gov. Haley Barbour in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
(CBS/AP) JACKSON, Miss - A Mississippi judge temporarily blocked the release of 21 inmates who had been granted a pardon or medical release by outgoing Governor Haley Barbour Wednesday.

The injunction came at the request of Attorney General Jim Hood, who says he believes Barbour may have violated state law by pardoning inmates who had not given sufficient public notice that they were seeking to have their records cleared.

Mississippi's state constitution requires that any inmate seeking a pardon must publish notice for 30 days in a newspaper in or near the county where that person was convicted. Hood said it was not clear whether those granted pardons had met this requirement.

"It's unfortunate Gov. Barbour didn't read the constitution," Hood said Wednesday.

Among those pardoned was convicted murderer David Glenn Gatlin. Gatlin, who killed his wife and shot another man in 1993, had been denied parole just weeks before the governor cleared his record.

Several of those pardoned had worked doing odd jobs at the state's governors mansion through a trustee program.

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