JPay Blog

Barbour’s Pardons

Mississippi Gov. Haley BarbourGovernor Haley Barbour of Mississippi created a stir this month by issuing hundreds of pardons during his last two weeks in office.  The majority of these pardons – 90%, the governor claims – were given to individuals no longer in custody, to restore their civil rights.  Some of the clemencies, however, were granted to men convicted of capital crimes that had spent part of their sentences as inmate trustees in the Governor’s Mansion, a good-behavior privilege that put the inmates in close contact with the governor in a domestic capacity.

Detractors point at these pardons and claim that the accident of proximity to the governor should not merit clemency for serious crimes. Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley summed up the prevailing sentiment in a quote run by the Associated Press: “Serving your sentence at the Governor’s Mansion where you pour liquor, cook and clean should not earn a pardon for murder.”

While it’s hard to disagree with such a rational-seeming sound bite, we nonetheless believe that the practice of clemency by the executive branch of state government is a valuable part of our criminal justice system, and do not find fault with Gov. Barbour’s end-of-term pardons.  Moreover, the fact that the governor had the opportunity to know and interact with these inmates on a daily basis should count for something.  We are not arguing for quid pro quo (no, Commissioner Presley, we don’t believe that bartending, cooking and cleaning should, on their face, erase a murder conviction), but we do think that the clemency tradition is augmented – not hurt – by having the pardoner know the person he’s pardoning.

This is the rationale Gov. Barbour used in defending the pardons.  In an article written by Jessica Bakeman for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, the governor recounts a childhood story about an inmate (convicted of murder) who was assigned to his ailing grandfather as a caregiver, saying that experience gave him insight into the importance of second chances.  “The state is not an individual that wants vengeance,” said Barbour, quoted in the Clarion-Ledger article. “We believe in the forgiveness of sins.” (Never mind the fact that there are currently 57 inmates on Mississippi’s Death Row, and that of the 15 executions carried out by the state since 1975, nine of them occurred during Barbour’s two terms as governor.)

As for the majority of the pardons issued by Gov. Barbour, we take him at his word that most were issued to already-released offenders, and that most were granted with the approval of the state’s parole board.  We recognize that end-of-term pardons are a generally accepted practice of outgoing chief executives – be they US Presidents or state Governors – and are a custom that, in the best case, can further justice when the justice system has failed, and in the worst case simply demonstrate the state’s capacity for forgiveness and second chances.

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45 Comments

  1. Mabel B Meadows

    December 10, 2017 - 9:52 am

    My son is incarcerated at Washington State in Davisboro Ga. and I was wondering if u could tell me who I can talk to in reference to his parole. He has been in for 20yrs. and has been sent all over the state of Ga. He has since earned his GED,passed several classes and even got a certificate for being top player in volley ball with one of the other prisons. He has been a model inmate. but my thing is [not making excuses] he was a kid when this happened and has grew up in there and the changes I have witnessed have been incredible. H has learned from his mistakes and I think good behavior,, model, his accomplishments and 20yrs. shouldn’t go unoticed and should account for something.I’m senior citizen, hadicapped and can’t travel to visit and live on S.S.. You know the family suffers as well as him due to no money to send, can’t visit due to health or funds to travel and I would love live long enough to see him released but its getting harder everyday so if possible can you at least respond to my e-mail and thank you.

  2. connie mummert

    July 31, 2014 - 10:36 am

    I would like to say that Mo. needs to update laws also. A dear friend of mine was murdered in Moniteau co. in 2006 and they STILL have not found who did this! The Task force is more concerned on cleaning up the county for drugs and putting people in prison for YEARS, they finding killers!!!

  3. phyllis riley

    February 20, 2013 - 9:02 pm

    I have read all the comment,I agree with them something need to change in the system,I have a brother that been in louisana state prison,for also 40 yrs for a crime that had no evidence or weapon ,he was 17 yrs old when he was taken out of the house for shoting a man at 2:30 in morning,which he had been sleeping for 2hour 1/2 when they came in the house.my brother has been a trustee over 20 yrs,work in the warden home,sing in church choir,teach bible school,made toys for children on the outside,battle cancer,but still deny parole 3 times,lost all his parent on both sides ,this is injusted to him and family,the n.o da always say he was a danger to socitey,but he died ,and suffer ,the man wife or woman live in CA.she might be dead,but my brother still paying fro a crime he did”t do.Yes if Gov jinal,let them inmate out who been their 30,40,50 yrs he would have alot of money for educaton,thank God for Gov Barbour,who would think of Missippi have a heart.

  4. christine

    January 7, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    THANK GOD FOR GOVERNOR BARBOUR. i wish the Govenor of michigan would do that or just bring back good time for michigan prison

  5. David Harmer

    December 29, 2012 - 11:31 pm

    As a former inmate who spent 19 calendar years incarcerated in the State of Michigan, I think it is high time that inmates, prisoners, defendants, or if you want to call them convicts….be treated with some degree of human kindness. I have been out of prison for four years now, and my experience(s) in there will live with me forever. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the GOOD people I met in there. Many of them serving non-parolable life sentences. Most of those men have served, on average, 30 years already, and some have served much more. They are old men. Men who made ONE mistake…ONE bad decision…ONE moment of anger, or rage, and they will never have the chance to taste free air again. Its a shame, and a sham. These men are kept in prison (at least in Michigan) not because their crimes were more harsh, or violent, or heinious than if they had committed them in another state (where being paroled after 25 years for a murder conviction is common) but because of politics and money. Anyone who has had ANY dealings with the criminal justice system knows that its all about politics and money. The politicians get elected because they promise to get “tough on crime” (as if THEY are the ONLY ones who can?) and then once elected they help to pass bills that expand the corrections departments budgets (i.e. taxpayers money). Once the budgets are increased, more guards get hired, and then even more money is needed in order to pay their ever increasing salaries each year. I’m not hating on those who wish to provide a steady income for their families. I salute that.

    I guess what I am trying to say, in a round about way, is that to me, someone who has been there, done that, seen that, the whole system is backwards. Instead of making a real effort to help anyone who will be released from prison with serious vocational training, or schooling, and therefore DECREASE the likelihood they will come back again, most states simply operate their corrections systems on a “revolving door” philosophy. Which only continues to perpetrate the need for the system in the first place.

    Prison is a place where people are sent who have broken the laws. The sentence IS the punishment. From the moment they walk IN the door, the system should make every effort to help that individual prepare for his or her eventual release.

    These men who I met during my incarecation, most of them have accepted the fact they will never get out. Two of them I knew, and still maintain contact with, have served 35+ years for second degree felony murder, which in Michigan means Life WITHOUT parole. Neither of these men are a threat to society. Their crimes were commited when they were in their 20’s and 30’s. Both men are now accomplished artists, one of whom has three of his pieces inside the state capitol building! They have paid for their crimes.

    More governors should NOT let politics sway their hearts, and just do what is right for everyone….

  6. lj anslow

    September 22, 2012 - 10:46 am

    I TOTALY AGREE WITH SOME CHANGES IN TEXAS I LIVE IN ENGLAND AND OUR LAWS ARE TOTALY DIFFRENT IM CURRENTLY WRITEING TO INMATE IN TEXAS AND HE,S BEEN THEIR 11YRS AND EXPECTED TO DO ANOTHER 19YRS? CRIMES WERE DONE AS TEENAGERS, PEOPLE DO CHANGE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY HAVE LOST HALF THEIR LIFE TO STUPIDTY WHAT WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF DOING SOME POINT IN OUR TIME?? MAY BE TEXAS SHOULD LOOK AT HOW ENGLAND UK DEAL WITH THESE OFFENDERS? SERVE TIME BUT ALSO VERY HIGH SECURITY WHEN RELEASED IE CURFEW, MONITOR TAG, PROBATION COURSES, THEIRS SO MANY AND 87% ARE STILL IN OUR COMMUNITY DOING WELL

  7. tina

    July 18, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    I live in a county in kansas who in the last two years have handed down sentences for murders that were less then 15 years one was for a double murder and one was for a individual who walked up to a 19yr old kid in the park at a bday party and shot him in the face yet my husband is sitting in prison for 14 years for a way less crime then that because he went to trial once and it was a hung jury the state came to him with a plea bargain for a much lesser crime that would allow him to do community corrections and be at home he has never denied he commited a crime so he agreed to the deal and then when we ser in court for his official sentencing the judge told him he was a danger to society and sentenced him to 14yrs in prison i don’t understand how it is that the judicial system is able to pose there own personal judgements in cases at all they have to go on is someone else’s opnion not the people who really no them they look at there families as only trying to protect there loved one and i will admit he put himself in a situation he should have never been in however the punishment should fit the crime

  8. Eva flores

    June 12, 2012 - 11:12 pm

    Gooo governor Barbours my blessings to you..we the people of this country need more governors with your kind of brains and heart!!!God gave all of us a second chance!..gov Barbours action shows that every human being on this world is entitle to this chance…take notes GOVERNORS.

  9. Ellon

    June 6, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    ALL Governors of every state need to take note and follow suit with Governor Barbour of Mississippi! I TOTALLY agree with William Cochran’s statement on May 28, 2012. EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE!!!

  10. William Cochran

    May 28, 2012 - 8:23 pm

    Thank God for men like Governor Barbour. Far too often no one and especially politicians will not even think of giving someone a second chance in life.
    Everyone makes mistakes on this journey we call life. Some mistakes are worse than others. Everyone must face the consequences of their mistakes but at some point everyone deserves a second chance.
    If God above can forgive and offer us a “New Life” and then tells us to “Go and Sin no more” then should we as followers of God do the same?
    God Bless you Governor Barbour.

  11. Dea

    April 6, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    There are so many valid points expressed in these communications. When at first hearing about Gov. Barbour’s(sp?)parting edicts, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. The manner in which it was presented in the news was certainly not flattering. It was presented in such a way as to portray the governor as a bit of an unbalanced, perhaps a bit senile, corrupt, southern politician,cracker (this is a rather not so nice word used in such contexts I believe). I am glad that I was able to stumble upon this site and be presented with another, more balanced synopsis of this exceedingly important event. Thank You all so very much for your heart-felt comments.
    Alas, what is expressed here-in is too true. The judicial system in the USA is a sham, a corrupt ruse. In effect one may have better odds at winning at “Black Jack-Poker”, than receiving a fair hand playing cards & winning in the present judicial system. It is so much like playing poker. Who is better at the art of bluffing the “opponent”? Only at this hand of cards, we are too often playing with real peoples lives. Yes, that’s correct, people that have blood running through their veins & when they are cut they bleed, when they are happy, they laugh and when they are sad they cry. Is that so very different than you or I, or even those hallowed creatures that sit upon their thrones, in those sacrosanct halls of (in)justice and make pronouncements upon our lives as if we were but mere pieces of inanimate objects that are being pushed across a chess board? Only the chess boards which these black garbed officials sit & play upon, are comprised of real peoples lives. It’s the “chess board of life”, of our lives.

    Granted, there are people that are mentally& emotionally sick that absolutely need to be kept out of the general population; society at large. However there is something very skewered & wrong with a society that imposes harsher sentences on people for using drugs than for the taking of another person’s life.

    It is a system apparently immersed in retribution, punishment. Whatever happened to the other “tion” in the equation, the “tion” as in rehabilita”tion”? Why has that been so vastly forgotten, thrown away? We need to be reminded of this most important aspect in the equation. The police are our public servants; we the people pay their salaries. Do they help us? No, unfortunately, they mostly hurt us, harass us, intimidate us. They are too often like bully’s and society has taken a supposed hard view on bully’s. Yet, why are the police given carte blanche at being bully’s? We, the people must stand together and become involved in affecting change! The police literally get away with murder. Shoot first and ask questions later. That’s a most frightening concept to partake of. The police are much more interested in busting someone for drugs than in trying to retrieve a victims personal possessions which were stolen. There’s more glory and kudos given for drug busts than in retrieval of stolen items. Sad but true.
    A most alarming statistic to consider is that of all the first world nations, the US has more of their citizens incarcerated than any other country. Also in all the annals of written history there has never been so many of a nations citizens incarcerated as there is now right here in the “good ole” USA.

  12. Anita Turner

    April 5, 2012 - 9:37 am

    I too agree there should be some change in how the prisioners in different states are sentences. I knew someone who got second degree murder and was out in 10 years for exellent behavior. He is now working and doing well. In Louisiana and Tx that is called a pine box sentence. In Texas I know a young man who did stupid stuff as a teenager did five years then after he was out got caught running a yellow light was arrested and then got in another state working with out reporting to a parole officer one time and was considered a 3 time offender. He got 40 years in texas. Crazy….
    I also know a young man who was on drugs and so called “jacked” a drug dealer for some pills. One boy beat the man up after the boy I knew picked up the pills and ran out telling the other boy to come one. 10 days later that man died. For two years we were told that the boys hands killed that man. The DA held the evidence that the man had chosen to have elective surgery 9 days after the incident….he had gone home and was ok enough to heal on his own. He had a fractured jaw that he chose to have repaired. The Dr’s said it wasn’t necesary but he chose to do it anyway. They didn’t know he had a bleeding ulcer, which the Dr’s hit while intubating him for surgery and he bleed to death immediately following the surgery.

    Two years after that, another letter came to the family saying one of the boys never touched the man while all along they said both boys beat him up terribly. The one boy knew he hadn’t touched the man and would of been able to testify against the other boy. We knew it to be true because the statement of not being touched came from the man that died. The dark haired boy whom he described would not testify against the other boy because he knew if he had to stay one more day in jail after the testimony he may himself be killed. The judge not getting the testimony to defend himself from the dark haired boy gave both boys 13 years.
    This is a young boy that should have his sentenced reduced or better yet released.. He’s already served 6 years. But his attitude is so positive… he says I see it as paying for my sins and then some. He is also taking advantage of the vocational programs they offer. I’m merely pointing out that each state is so different in how they chose to imprision people and once ever in trouble it’s like there is a permanent hook on you that allows them to pull you back in. Even with money for a lawyer… the system keeps picking at some of the same system no matter how hard they try. So second chances with out continuous judgment should be given to some of these guys.

  13. R....

    April 1, 2012 - 10:40 pm

    Our system sucks and until we as Americans stand up and stand together it will never change!!!! Same with every other problem we have in this country….Until we stand up and say we’re not gonna take it or put up with it anymore our problems with it all will continue…..People lyin on the stands and extreme sentencin should be looked into as well….Especially for people who have addictions and commit a crime (1st offenses) not career criminals..People who murder and rape and molest children should just be put out of “our” misery….Their is something mentally and emotionally wrong with those people….An eye for an eye!!! There wouldn’t be the crime and severe crimes that there are today if they actually put away or took care of those people who committed them instead of putting the people who actually need help (the addicted) in jail. They just want the taxpayers money. They are making ridiculous amounts of money off of us and letting the career and violent criminals get away with whatever they want. They have more rights than the victims….They are creating more problems than they are solving..The judicial system needs to be completely overhauled!!!!!

  14. Gayle

    March 30, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    Im glad the Gov did this it is needed in tx they could do more than sit in cells and have us to fund their books what happened to working off the crime they could report to work and work for so many years as if n prison for half pay or something for those that have changed and needing justice in their case..come on tx ya sign say dont mess with tx but why you messin with folk

  15. Amanda

    March 26, 2012 - 11:06 pm

    I think it is great that the governor did what he did. My husband is serving a 80 year sentence for someone coming to his home and trying to kill him. He protected himself and was charged with manslaughter. 80 years for manslaughter. The system is horrible. My husband is a good man, hard worker, awesome father and his life is wasted away because someone that was so high on drugs chose my husband to bully and lost. This is a sick world we live in. The families of prisoner are also prisoners. I now raise 3 children on my own and it sucks. I pray that one day my husband gets the justice he deserves.

  16. Lucille Wade

    March 26, 2012 - 7:00 am

    There are so many stories of heartbreak here from the families of those in prison….its easy to see…that when someone is in prison …. whole families…are imprisoned…not just the offender….and so many fine points made…the cost of incarceration in terms of money is incredible to people and the country…I read that in the United States one of every five persons is or will encounter the justice system in some way…thats scary that there is so much power in the hands of one branch of our government…I’m not saying that its not needed, because there are those that do cross the line of the law…but, moderation is needed in everything…sentencing humans beings to 10,20 and 30 years for anything but, murder, rape or the most harmful crimes is dehumanizing….and then we expect them to come back into society with sane minds..capable of just picking up and living a full life..when in so many ways they are vulnerable and victimized by a society that rachets them to the bottom of the heap for jobs and housing the very things needed to survive…and be productive…..and some prisons even when they have taken measures to reform themselves………….give up..from having no support inside the prison..and none once home (a supportive family can only give so much)….yes, the governor did a good thing….but, our country needs to take a good look at itself….are we incarcerating the most harded criminals or are we locking up those that can’t afford lawyers(and please don’t think a public defender is sufficient)if this is a subject that is close to your heart pick up the phone…and let your representative ..know how your family has been effected……their suppose to be representing us………the people

  17. Hope

    March 22, 2012 - 6:00 pm

    Wow, Barbour’s actions are straight out of the dreams of those in the Justice feild that want true reform. I spent four years at Penn State earning a BS in justice, and if you get a good look at most of those that I graduated with you can see that a lot of these people are going into this field with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. Justice is supposed to be fair and equitable treatment not corrupt vengence. Incarcerations rates have never been higher, but of course neither has the price on every inmates head been so lucrative. And lucrative to who? The powers that put them and keep them there in first place. This country really needs to take a look in its own backyard before we begin to be “big brother” to any soveriegn nation. Somewhere along the way humanity has been tossed wayside for power and money.

  18. imsad4him

    March 16, 2012 - 5:17 am

    Ino how everyone feels my brother went to jail for being the child of outspoken poor famliey he’s doing 37 years but they (texas) said he was a meth cook but he wasnt even wirth the person whom done he just open the door to knock and a friend of his came in with drugs but seconds later he open to another knock and yea our finest came in and arrested him fo manufacting-yea our systom need help/to do first start a petion against the rights for drug usse compare to murder.

  19. Cindy

    March 11, 2012 - 11:51 am

    It appears r justice systems has alot to fix My 41 year odl son is serving 25 to life under California’s 3-strikes law. The three felonies that put him there are in a nutshell the folowing: Hit and run, and evading arrest (he hit a parked car and ran); the second felony wasBurglery of a private residence (he stole a bile); and three…he stole a cell phone off a person). Never were any weapons used nor was there any violence. My son is not eleigible for parole until he has served a minimum of 18 years. Californias three strike law is being used by judges that are to lazy or truly dont understand the spirit of this law of which i voted for. It is meant for murderers, child molesters, and rapist. Not people who clearly need rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction, which are considered illnesses. Are prisons in this state are so over crowded because of the misuse of this law. It cost the state between 40 and 80 thousand a year for each inmate and we wonder why our state is broke. Until we can revamp this law and use it only for the most very violent we will continue to find our state in the red even further. I can only hope our new Gov. Brown seees the logic in this and does something to fix it asap. God help us if he does not. A lot of good people are being thrown away needlessly.

  20. Mark

    March 9, 2012 - 1:11 pm

    Yes Texas is very hard on crime. This is good to a extint. But they do not look at individual cases. My Son has been in Prison since he was 16 years old. He was helping another boy rob a man. The other boy shot the man. My son who was very much a boy was tried as a adult. Then they scared him with the death sentence to get him to agree to a life sentence and 15 years consecutive. He has been in prison more than 18 years and has not recieved parol for the life sentence. He will have to complete the 15 without parole once he starts it. He is a man now and very much not the boy he once was. Even if he is granted parole in his next hearing he will be 51 years old when he gets free. If my wife and I live it will be hard to help him start his new life. If we don’t live he will have to find his way on his own. Does any other state make men with good time stay in prison for 32 or more years for a crime of association or even murder? I really think second chances should apply for some, and maybe a lot in Texas Prisons.

  21. martha

    March 7, 2012 - 7:24 pm

    I want to thank the governor of mississippi for having the guts to release those prisoners. As one person has said gov jindal is a person that doesn,t think louisiana prisoners deserve a second chance, I live in louisiana in a small city that is wanting to close all the schools but two because they say the state has no money to run them yet they have money to pay parole boards and house some prisoners that should be released. To combine 5th thru 12th grade students together is asking for more kids to be put in jail and then end up in prison. It is a money thing which the people don,t have because all this is adding up to is raising taxes on purchases that we make. Our children deserve better. We need some strong voices in louisiana. God help us please. LET SOME PEOPLE GO JINDAL.

  22. Nunyer

    March 7, 2012 - 8:10 am

    You folks are out of your minds. Murder is a capital offense. Anyone who commits an act of violence should spend at LEAST the minimum of their sentence. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  23. Angel Phillips

    March 2, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    THANK GOD FOR GOVERNOR BARBOUR. HE IS AN AWSOME INDIVIDUAL.

  24. S

    February 27, 2012 - 11:26 am

    I wish I could be given a second chance I was involved in Crime when I was 16 was certified as an adult spent 12 years in prison and been free for 10 I never was in trouble befor or after that crime I been working the whole 10 years but I can’t get a GOOD job or I always have to live with family and friends cause nobody will rent to me it is hard ! Texas needs to give some of us a break !!!

  25. Lettie

    February 24, 2012 - 1:13 am

    My hats off to Governor Barbour! Like others have said, people make mistakes, nobody is perfect. Let those WITHOUT sin, cast the first stone! What people need to also remember is that nowadays corruption runs rampant throughout our justice system. (Texas leading the pack.) False allegations and wrongful convictions are becoming commonplace. Texas has just about the highest exonorees list of all the states, so you tell me there’s not something underhanded going on, that causes these wrongful convictions in the first place.
    Please Gov Rick Perry, have a heart and look into handing out some much needed pardons in the state of Texas. Somewhere along the way, the justice system needs to start looking for the truth instead of worrying about their conviction rate and the revenue that inmates bring into the state.

  26. toohot4u

    February 23, 2012 - 2:01 pm

    As always, americans as usual, tend to support things until they effect them. They claim to be for free speech, but as soon as it affect them, free speech is bad. The Governor has the power to grant pardons, and until that power is taken away by the Constitution, he is free to do so, and the complainers ought to just shut up.

  27. Viridiana Rivera

    February 21, 2012 - 11:52 am

    The only way we can change TDCJ system is speaking out. I am married to a life sentenced inmate and I requested my state representative’s help for my husband to start his education. He supported me in that matter and my husband was sent to a better prison. I think we need to let our representatives know what is happening with the system. There is this Sunset Review comming up and they examine what is working or not into the TDCJ. Mariza Marquez State Representative from El Paso, Tx is in the TDSCJ commiteee for making changes to the system. Let’s work all together, let’s ask for a fair system and put an stop to corporations running prisons.

  28. arona

    February 11, 2012 - 4:34 pm

    I meant to say there appears to be a system that is a BULLY SYSTEM) LET’S PICK ON THE ONES THAT ARE MORE VULNERABLE AND DO NOT HAVE THE MEANS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES NOR AFFORD PROTECTION. (THIS APPEARS TO BE A BULLY) SO TEXAS PASS A LAW AGAINST YOURSELVES FOR BULLYING….

  29. arona

    February 11, 2012 - 4:30 pm

    OK PEOPLE WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT OUR TEXAS SYSTEM THE SYSTEM IS SO UNFAIR AND IT SEEM TO DERIVE SUCH JOY IN THE MOST EXTREME PUNISHMENT TO THE YOUNG ONES THAT MAKE MISTAKES .IT AMOST APPEARS TO BE A BULLY SYSTEM (SPEAKING OF BULLIES) LST’S PICK ON THE ONES THAT ARE MORE VULNERABLE AND DO NOT HAVE THE MEANS TO PROTECT THMESEVLES…SOUNDS LIKE A BULLY TEXAS PASS A LAW AGAINST YOURSELF FOR BULLYING….

  30. arona

    February 11, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    OK GOVENOR OF TEXAS how about giving our young men and women who has been sent to prison for possession of drugs, other non-violent crimes , parole violations, and just mistakes that they made in their young lives A PARDON? Mr. Govenor that would be greatly appreciated by them and their mothers..Just maybe they can get jobs and lead productive lives and not have their mistakes thrown up in their face everytime they try to find employment. I do not agree with the Govenor pardoning the guys if they did terrible violent crimes and it appears that most of them did.I do not think it is fair to the ones that did not do terrible crimes…

  31. Maxine

    February 4, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    My daughter , a mother of three, was addicted to pain medication from an accident she was involved in,over eight years ago. Besides marrying a drug abuser, she became invloved in the whole”meth” mess, because he convinced her it would take the pain away!!! Needless to say downward spiral…long story short…arrested for possessionwith him last summer….he gets bonded out, she sits in county jail for 3 months, before being allowed to “OR out, back on the streets of Starke County, In. No home, no clothes, nothing. She is court ordered to do programs and on probation. She does her programs, one thing ordered was to obtain employment. She find a job cleaning houses for cash to pay her ch. support, and goes in for her hearing last week, County Magistrate doesn’t accept her job as a “tax paying” job..throws her in county jail, now she is sitting in Rockville for “violation of probation” for something as simple as a possession charge..don’t get me wrong….I am totally against drugs…she lost everything three years ago. Job, home, kids all of it. But prison??? For violation of not having a “tax” paying job???

  32. Melissa

    February 3, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    Thank God. What the Governor did was very nice, caring and understanding. There are people in there that should not be there. Everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance. Praise God.

  33. Nette

    February 3, 2012 - 12:16 pm

    Just caught Rashelle’s response….you go girl! And TEXAS is one of the harsh, unreasonable states when it come to what is fair/equitable punishment. Lock ’em up and throw away the key. That’s Texas Judicial System’s motto.
    Well, everything is bigger in TX, including punishments.

  34. Nette

    February 1, 2012 - 10:58 am

    I’m with Dennis. I’m praying that Gov. Barbour started a trend….my dream is to have a system that acknowledges excellent behavior to Ad Seg ( esp. Texas) Offenders. A conduct re-evaluation at LEAST every 10 yrs.

    Also, a misnomer that folks have is, “Of course he’s nice, he’s in prison.” What if that’s NOT the case?

    My friend in TX Ad Seg. has been on the “best” level due to NEVER giving anyone trouble, for 15 years but isn’t up for parole til like 2026. Is that nuts? …..what a Godsend it would be to have a program that acknowledges Ad Seg Offenders who exhibit consistent, exemplary behavior.

    This would be a step to correct overly harsh (3 STrikes You’re Out)sentencing that plagues this country. What happened to the 4th Amendment?

    A positiv! This could become a trend!!! Other BRAVE and STRONG men may step up to the “plate.” Thank God for Gov. Barbour for “breaking the ice.”

    Thank you for giving me the privilege to voice my opinion. Friends and family NEED more rights.

  35. Dennis Auldridge

    January 31, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    It pleases me the governor did this.i know the pain of the victims family is huge but it huge for the the family of the prisoner also. i can only pray that someday our own governor of texas has some sort heart to give second chances. i know, rick perry? yes, rick perry- the lord can work miracles.in my faith he can, anyway!

  36. Rashelle

    January 26, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    I agree with the Governor decision the system these days are so messed up, and whos to say what people done in there past will happen again, i really feel like you should be punished for the things you do, but lets not be so harsh, you have DA and Judges locking up people her in Texas for life for selling DRUGS and the ones that killing getting 2-5 years, now what state of mind do you think killer have i figure if they do it once they want be scared to do it again not saying it would happen though, but you locking up people for selling drup for 20-75 years what kind of lesson are you trying to teach them (LIKE REALLY) do it take that many years to learn a lesson..the Texas system is full of BS…and really wish some od the JUDGES< GOVERNORS AND DA had as big of a heart as this GOVERNOR did, i think he did a good JOB and some other GOVERNORS should share the love…

  37. Darlene

    January 24, 2012 - 9:36 pm

    I live in clayton county ga. and the judicial system here is so harsh, i have a 19yr. old son thats in prison serving a 10yr. sentence for armed robbery, this is his first time ever being arrested and the judge and jury had no evidence against him but convicted of this crime based on here say.

  38. William Cochran

    January 23, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    I would like to thank Governor Barbour for his act of kindness. For whatever reason people have forgotten about forgiveness. Thank God Governor Barbour still realizes that as God’s Children we are taught by God himself to forgive our brothers/sisters. I salute Gov Barbour for having the courage to follow his heart. Gov Barbour will be remembered not for his politics but for his character. God Bless you Gov Barbour.

  39. Lee

    January 23, 2012 - 11:01 am

    I would be in favor of governor’s pardoning inmates who have commited murder if after they are released, and they kill again, that I can hold the governor accountable as well. Perhaps they would put a bit more effort in evaluating who truly should be released and who should not. You take a life, then you give up yours… in prison, until death do you part.

  40. Paula

    January 22, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Yes, there are inmates that brought themselves to prison for their mistakes and they definitely pay the price. I am happy to hear that this parole board/governor saw that some inmates deserved to be released. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has only granted 24 pardons/commutes in his 4 year term and was re-elected unfortunately. Even the warden and the guards said that many of the inmates should be released, but the gov won’t budge even if the parole board supports the inmate. Mississippi is lucky to have had a governor like Barbour. I know many families are also pardoned and celebrating. My loved one is in Angola for armed robbery and he’s been in for 14 years and got 2 life sentences although he never pulled a gun or threatened the victims…he just wanted their car and let them go. Louisiana gives the most harsh and lengthy sentences not in the U.S. but in the world. The ACLU, the warden, and the Cardinals from the Catholic Church have been trying to work with Jindal and soften his hard head and heart and let some of these guys that deserve to go to be released. And yes, some of them should never be set free as they are inhumane and scarey. Please pray for my loved one. He has taken every available rehabilitative course and has 2 degrees and working on his 3rd one. He has turned himself around. He’s older, softer, and wiser, but Jindal offers no hope to anyone. Thanks for letting me talk.

  41. kassie

    January 22, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    sorry 2 hear that :(… i’m in pa. a state cop lied on the stand said when he came 2 our home i was all beat up, black-n-blue on the right side of my face and i had strangulation marks on my neck. well, my neighbors were here like 6 of them, they even say i didnt have one mark. and it takes your face at least a few hours 2 turn black-n-blue… he said he remembers cause my face was re-constructed & he felt bad 4 me cause my fiance hit me their…. well,that woulda been the LEFT side of my face !!! anyway, we have a 5 mo. old and were do 2 be married, now my fiance’s back in the damn system… :(, i would still wanna marry him in jail if he hurts me, duh !!! those ppl are f’n idiots, i miss him Sooooo bad :(… hes missing out on our babys first things 🙁 NOBODY will listen we were only in an argument that night !!! im in pa. and we just got 4in. of snow , i should be happy but im alone with the baby and nobody 2 talk to… i HATE our system !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Lou

    January 21, 2012 - 6:39 pm

    I have been an volunteer advisor for inmates for 32 years and I think it is a good thing if the Governor thought these inmates deserved a 2nd chance. I see way too often that inmates do their best to change everything in their lives and they are not given any credit for their change. I think it is about time that something changes in the judicial system. Inmates are humans. Yes, they made mistakes, haven’t we all? Thank God that he forgave me for my mistakes and he gave me a 2nd chance. I have worked with inmates who are really changed, but they finally give up. I thank the Governor for giving these guys a 2nd chance and I pray that these guys will appreciate this Governor for sticking his neck out for them and they make him very proud and always do what is right. Way too many inmates are in prison that should be out, especially in Louisiana. They keep them forever in Louisiana after they have been rehabilitated 100 times. GIVE THEM A BREAK PLEASE!!!! PROUD OF YOU GOVERNOR….THANK GOD SOMEONE HAS A HEART!!!!

  43. Ernie

    January 21, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    Who is this “we?” Is the author Queen Victoria?

    I have no problem with Gov. Barbour’s actions. I only wish more had the sense he showed he has. Let’s face it the criminal ‘justice’ system is a crock. It’s broken with unaccountable prosecutors at all levels aided by perjured testimony, senile judges and overly broad laws that allow for arbitrary prosecutions.

  44. Ellon

    January 20, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    I totally gree with you. Everyone deserves a second chance. My son is incarcerated in Indiana but he was given an overrated 15-25 sentence and he was trying to help some else he didn’t even know who was in trouble. instead of self defense they charge him with conspiracy to commit murder. The whole penal system need to be revamped!

  45. Ethel

    January 20, 2012 - 4:57 am

    ITS GOOD SOMEONE HAS A HEART AND DECIDES TO GIVE IMATES A SECOND CHANCE AND DEMORSTRATE FORGIVENESS, I WISH TEXAS WOULD DO THAT AS MY FINIANCEE BEEN IN PRINSON FOR GOING ON ELEVEN YEARS FOR RETALIATION AS THEY SAY, YET THEY KEEP DENIEING HIM PAROLE, THEY GAVE HIM AN OVERATED 29 YEAR SENTENCE BUT I KNOW THAT HE HAS DONE CHANGE, YET TEXAS DON’T WANT TO GIVE A PERSON A SECOND CHANCE.

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