Reason Writers Around the Web: Radley Balko Writes for Slate on Haley Barbour's Pardon Problem

Between the Cory Maye case, the 20-year forensics scandal involving favored prosecution witnesses Steven Hayne and Michael West, and the recent exonerations of three men wrongly convicted of murder, you'd think that Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) would begin to have some concern about how justice is administered in his state. But Barbour hasn't said a word about any of those stories. Instead, after years of refusing to grant pardons—including even posthumous pardons to framed civil rights leaders—Barbour has in the last year pardoned five convicted killers, four of whom killed their wives or girlfriends. Strangely, as Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko explains at Slate, all five men had the good fortune of being selected for a trusty program that had them working at the governor's mansion where Barbour lives.

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  • ||

    You find it strange that he pardoned the people who had already been lucky enough to work in the trusty program and that he had met? Certainly he should be pardoning the people suffering from miscarriages of justice, but a bias towards people that someone's actually met face-to-face is anything but "strange."

  • strange||

    it is very strange and irrational.
    I don't really understand your arguement.

  • ||

    it is very strange and irrational.

    Strange and irrational are not synonyms. Almost all human beings treat individuals that they've met differently from anonymous statistics.

  • Very, Very, Old Man||

    He's doing God's work out there.

  • ||

    Barbour/Huckabee/Palin in 2102!

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "Barbour/Huckabee/Palin in 2102!"

    Thank God. I'll be dead by then.

  • ||

    DOH!

  • ed||

    Barbour has in the last year pardoned five convicted killers, four of whom killed their wives or girlfriends.

    That's Haley's MO.

  • ||

    Barbour has in the last year pardoned five convicted killers, four of whom killed their wives or girlfriends, one just for snorin' too loud!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • ||

    Thanks Radley - I'm glad your work appears in spheres outside of Reason.

    You have a special gift of rendering clear the somewhat complex and/or oft misunderstood principles and processes of our system of governance.

    I regularly share your work with my students, many of whom are misguided in their understanding of how the CJ system works. We are reading To Kill A Mockingbird right now, and this article will be a good fit into our discussion of Robinson's guilty verdict.

    You don't know me, but I'm so glad I found you!

  • Robert||

    But it's not as if he pardoned convicts in return for working on a home he owns, which was what I'd gathered from a previous blurb on Hit & Run.

  • ||

    Yo, fuck Haley Barbour.

  • ||

    In Mississippi, Haley Barbour fucks you.

  • ||

    Do you think maybe they "had the good fortune" to be working at the governor's mansion because they had already been displaying qualities in prison that might eventually lead to a pardon? It's not as if they'd allow someone who was a problem in prison to work at the mansion.

  • ||

    Do you think maybe they "had the good fortune" to be working at the governor's mansion because they had already been displaying qualities in prison that might eventually lead to a pardon? It's not as if they'd allow someone who was a problem in prison to work at the mansion.

  • .||

    Step...away...from the submit button.

  • ||

    I don't want it to appear as if I'm trying to defend Barbour or argue that his decisions were correct. I have no idea if these men deserved pardons. They probably didn't. It just doesn't seem strange to me that prisoners behaving well enough to work at the governor's mansion might be the most likely to receive pardons.

  • Donna Ladd||

    Folks, if you read our original story on this (thanks again, Radley, for megaphoning this story out), you'll see that these were very brutal murders. I really can't see what good behavior in the governor's mansion has to do with whether these men were pardoned. Mississippi is one of the most violent states for women, and this message out of the governor's mansions about these kinds of domestic murders is not helping here.

    See also:
    http://www.jacksonfreepress.co.....rs_073008/

  • Donna Ladd||

    Folks, if you read our original story on this (thanks again, Radley, for megaphoning this story out), you'll see that these were very brutal murders. I really can't see what good behavior in the governor's mansion has to do with whether these men were pardoned. Mississippi is one of the most violent states for women, and this message out of the governor's mansions about these kinds of domestic murders is not helping here.

    See also:
    http://www.jacksonfreepress.co.....rs_073008/

  • ||

    I really can't see what good behavior in the governor's mansion has to do with whether these men were pardoned.

    This is just a wild guess, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the governor pardoned these killers because he especially enjoyed how they buggered him in his S&M dungeon.

    -jcr

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