Also see: JFP investigation of Barbour's 2008 Pardons of Domestic Killers
JFP Domestic Violence Archive
VERBATIM from Attorney General Jim Hood:
Attorney General Releases Preliminary Review of Pardons and Search to Serve Notice
Jackson, MS—Attorney General Jim Hood today released the findings of his preliminary review into the over 200 recent pardons by former Governor Haley Barbour and the search to serve notice on the five criminals released Sunday. "We have served notice on Anthony McCray and David Gatlin, two of the five men released on Sunday," said Attorney General Hood. "McRay was served last night in Pike County and Gatlin was served today in Alabama by our public integrity investigators." McCray has checked in with DOC, along with Nathan Kern and Charles Hooker. "We have leads on the remaining individual, but would appreciate if anyone with information as to his whereabouts would contact our office at 601-359-3680."
The Attorney General's Office continues to look for Joseph Ozmet (DeSoto).
The Attorney General's preliminary review of the pardons shows:
· Of 222 pardons, commutations, suspensions and pardons, 203 are full pardons.
· Of the 21 inmates ordered detained by the Hinds County Circuit Court, five were full pardons, the rest were commutations or suspensions. Those five pardons are still being reviewed to determine whether they have met the publication requirement of Section 124 of the Mississippi Constitution.
· The AGO has reviewed 181 files received from the Governor's Office. One hundred forty of those files did not contain any publication information. Forty one of those contained publication information and, of those 41, 27 appear to be insufficient (they do not meet the 30 day publication requirement). Seven of the 41 do appear to meet the publication requirement and seven are still being reviewed.
More specific information will be released when the Attorney General's review is complete.
The AGO has been working with the District Attorney's and local law enforcement agencies to contact local newspapers to determine how many of the pardons actually met the requirements of the law.
"Obviously it is an arduous task," said Attorney General Hood. "We have dedicated a large number of staff to resolving this issue as soon as possible."
"Our preliminary investigation indicates that the majority of these purported pardons did not have sufficient publication and therefore we will introduce our evidence in Hinds County Circuit Court on January 23 and ask the court to hold these purported pardons null and void," said Attorney General Hood. "We are asking anyone who received a pardon to call our office at 601-359-4210 with information and documentation showing they met the criteria." ###
Update from AG: Charles Hooker has now been served in Jackson by investigators with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.