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Judge Allows Pardoned Mississippi Murderers to Remain Free Temporarily


Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green ruled Monday there will be no change in conditions for the four convicted murderers pardoned by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour until a hearing on February 3rd.

The four men are allowed to remain free but will have to check in daily with authorities.  Judge Green indicated earlier he wanted the pardoned convicts to be imprisoned again.

Judge Green grant an extension for an additional 10 days  On January 11th, he set the conditions for the pardoned convicts and granted a request from Mississippi Attorney General  Jim Hood for an injunction forbidding the release of any more prisoners pardoned or given clemency by Barbour.

On Monday, Judge Green granted a request by Hood to add five additional convict names to the list who must check in with authorities and could be ordered back to prison.   Hold told reporters that he expects to add an additional 170 names.

The Hinds County Judge said Monday the decision is based wholly on whether or not the right procedures were followed as far as giving advance notice of the prisoner's release.

A motion was filed Friday asking the judge to disqualify Hood and his office from the case.  The motion states there is a conflict of interest because Assistant Attorney General David Scott was among those among those working with Barbour in the posting of the prescribed notice.

Judge Green stated "The attorney general has the authority, the responsibility and the obligation to the people of the state of Mississippi to bring the action.  I do not see the conflict."

Barbour said, "The pardons were intended to allow (the inmates) to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote. My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90% of the cases."

Mississippi now has a new a new governor.  Since taking office, Phil Bryant has eliminated the practice of inmate trusties working for the governor and the tradition of pardoning those inmates.

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