The power of pardon is an important one, giving executives the opportunity to show mercy in extraordinary cases, or to right perceived legal injustices against the convicted. It must not be abused. After what former Miss. Governor Haley Barbour did, pardoning 200 inmates on his way out the door, the present governor and his successors will find it all but impossible to pardon a soul. Excerpt:

“These convicts got out and hit the road,” says Hood. “This is probably gonna end up in some attempt by us to have fugitive warrants issued for these people. There’s gonna be a national search for some of them.”

The pardons granted to David Gatlin, Joseph Ozment, Anthony McCray and Charles Hooker release them from any responsibility to check in with prison officials or parole officers. Their basic civil rights have been restored and the pardons wipe their criminal records clean.

“These are the people the victims’ family members are terrified of,” says CNN correspondent Martin Savidge. “If they were paroled, [the families] knew the state would be keeping tabs on them. Because they were pardoned, it’s [the families’] worst nightmare. They don’t know where they are.”

Wouldn’t you have hit the road too? What if you were a family member of one of these killers’ victims? How well would you be sleeping these days? Thanks Boss Hogg Gov. Barbour.

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