Judge Tomie Green blocks 21 of Mississippi Governor Barbour’s pardons

GlobalPost

Mississippi circuit judge Tomie Green blocked 21 of Governor Haley Barbour's prisoner pardons late Wednesday, saying some of them violated the state's constitution. 

Barbour, Mississippi's outgoing governor and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, pardoned almost 200 inmates on Wednesday, including several convicted murderers and former NFL quarterback Brett Favre's brother, CBS News reported

Judge Green issued an injunction late Wednesday night at the request of Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood. According to Hood, Gov. Barbour may have violated the state's constitution by pardoning inmates who did not give sufficient public notice that they were seeking to have their records cleared, the Associated Press reported

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

Section 124 of the Mississippi Constitution states that any inmate seeking a pardon must publish notice about his intentions before the governor can grant it. The notice must appear at least 30 days before the pardon in a newspaper in or near the county where the person was convicted.  

More from GlobalPost: Haley Barbour pardons four convicted murderers, sparking outrage

"The pardons were intended to allow [the prisoners] to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote," Barbour said in a statement, the AP reported. "My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases."

Though Barbour drew criticism for his pardons, he is unlikely to face political repercussions. The Mississippi governor considered running for president this year but announced last April that he would skip the race because he didn't have the "fire in the belly."

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