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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Gov. Haley Barbour Pardons Convicted Murderers

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FSTargetDrone
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 03:52pm 

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Joined: 2004-04-10 06:10pm
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Just imagine if he was a Democrat:

Quote:
Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned nearly 200 people, including convicted murderers
Among those getting full pardons was brother of former New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre

BY LARRY MCSHANE / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, January 11 2012, 2:00 AM

Bitter family members angrily blasted Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after his 11th-hour pardons freed four murderers who savagely killed their loved ones.

“I’m totally disgusted,” said Glenda Walker, whose son was shot to death in 1993 by ex-inmate David Gatlin. “... One man can’t put you in jail. I don’t think it’s right for one man to remove you from jail.”

Her ire was shared by the families of other victims after the quartet of killers was released Sunday night. Barbour’s office said nothing about the pardons until the family members went public with their disgust.

Gatlin was set free less than two weeks after the Mississippi Parole Board shot down his bid for early release.

The freed foursome included Gatlin, convicted of killing his estranged wife and her long-time friend Randy Walker; Joseph Ozment, guilty of gunning down Ricky Montgomery during a 1994 robbery; Charles Hooker, doing life for a 1992 murder; and Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 for his wife’s killing.

Three of the murders were particularly grisly, including the Ozment killing.

Mark McAbee, the nephew of victim Montgomery, said his relative was shot three times in the middle of a robbery by several bandits.

“He was crawling toward Joseph Ozment for help,” McAbee said. “He was crawling to him for help. Joseph Ozment put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger twice.”

McAbee ripped Barbour’s pardons as “a slap in the face.”

Glenda Walker said Gatlin, 40, shot his wife as she held their small boy — and then gunned down her son.

“He left that little baby on his dead mother’s body,” she said. “It was a horrendous murder.”

The governor, who leaves office Tuesday, did not respond to calls for comment on the bitter response to his decision. All the pardoned men worked at trusties in the governor’s mansion, and granting trusties their freedom is a decades-old tradition in the state.

The explanation meant little to JoAnn Martin, whose sister Jennifer was killed by McCray. The couple was arguing inside a cafe when McCray walked out, returned with a handgun — and shot her in the back, Martin said.

“When he killed her, she had a 3-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son,” Martin said. “It’s a shame before God. It’s almost like you kill somebody, and nobody cares.”

A complete list of those pardoned was released Tuesday. Among them was the brother of former New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre.

Earnest Scott Favre had his record cleared in the 1996 death of his best friend, Mark Haverty. Favre had driven in front of a train in Pass Christian while drunk, pleaded guilty in 1997, and was sentenced to a year of house arrest followed by two years' probation.

Other convicted criminals who received pardons include:

— Azikiwe Kambule, a South African man whose manslaughter conviction in a 1996 Mississippi carjacking and slaying drew international attention because he was a teenager when the crime was committed and prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty. In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Kambule, who wanted to withdraw his guilty plea.

— Michael Graham, whose sentence Barbour suspended in 1998 and whom he pardoned Tuesday. Graham was convicted of shooting his ex-wife in 1989 in downtown Pascagoula with a shotgun at point-blank range.

— Clinton Jason Moffitt of Hickory Flat, who was convicted in June 2009 of conspiracy to commit voter fraud. Moffitt was among 16 people indicted on fraud charges stemming from the 2007 elections in Benton County. In July 2009, Moffitt was sentenced to five years in prison with two years to serve, two suspended and one under house arrest.

— Victor Collins, who was convicted of fatally beating his girlfriend, Peggy Campbell, in Marshall County in 1994 after Collins was released from jail on larceny charges Campbell had filed against him.

With The Associated Press


Whatever happened to the Republicans being "tough on crime"? That aside, I sure as hell cannot see why these killers were let go. Madness.
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NoXion
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 05:22pm 

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Joined: 2005-04-21 01:38am
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Can someone explain to me the sense behind allowing pardons for convicted murderers, whose convictions have not since been overturned in a court of law?

So far that I can see it provides no public safety, no deterrent and no rehabilitative function, at least in this case.

As for this:

Quote:
The governor, who leaves office Tuesday, did not respond to calls for comment on the bitter response to his decision. All the pardoned men worked at trusties in the governor’s mansion, and granting trusties their freedom is a decades-old tradition in the state.


It stinks to high fucking heaven; since when are actual murderers more trustworthy than some poor schmuck caught in the judicial snares of the Drug War?
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 05:29pm 

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Joined: 2002-07-04 08:36am
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Here is an idea, he pardon them because he did not believe they did it. At least one or two pardons because he believed the men were wrongly convicted.

The others of course were because he got PAYED and it's as simple as that. He might not have gotten the money directly perhaps only his staff got payed and he signed off on it, but someone got payed to free these men.
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Zed
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 05:42pm 

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Joined: 2010-05-19 08:56pm
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NoXion wrote:
Can someone explain to me the sense behind allowing pardons for convicted murderers, whose convictions have not since been overturned in a court of law?

The entire idea of pardons is that they happen to convicts. You don't pardon people for convictions that have been overturned, because there'd be no point. You can call into question the idea of a pardon in general, but it seems rather odd to stress the "convicted" element.
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Eulogy
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 05:45pm 

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Joined: 2007-04-28 10:23pm
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He thinks that because his term is up, there will be no consequences for this. But it would be quite ironic if he was killed by one of the inmates he released, yes?
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Zaune
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 05:59pm 

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Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
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Well, it makes about as much sense as the grounds on which some people end up in jail over there in the first place, I suppose.
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NoXion
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 08:57pm 

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Joined: 2005-04-21 01:38am
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Zed wrote:
The entire idea of pardons is that they happen to convicts. You don't pardon people for convictions that have been overturned, because there'd be no point. You can call into question the idea of a pardon in general, but it seems rather odd to stress the "convicted" element.


I stressed the "convicted" part because courts of law at least generally try to look like they are basing their judgements on evidence and reason. On the other hand, I'm having a hard time establishing the necessary criteria for a prisoner to become a servant of the Governor and have a shot at freedom when the incumbent moves on. Beyond the obvious ones like money and connections, of course.

It seems like just the sort of "cozy" arrangement that foments corruption of the worst kind.
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Skgoa
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 10:04pm 

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So what do you think of parole and suspended sentences? Not trying to attack you, just curious.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 10:27pm 

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Eulogy wrote:
He thinks that because his term is up, there will be no consequences for this. But it would be quite ironic if he was killed by one of the inmates he released, yes?
That sounds foolish. Why would they kill a man who'd just done them a huge favor?
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PhilosopherOfSorts
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 11:06pm 

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Joined: 2008-10-28 07:11pm
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Location: Waynesburg, PA, its small, its insignifigant, its almost West Virginia.
Simon_Jester wrote:
Eulogy wrote:
He thinks that because his term is up, there will be no consequences for this. But it would be quite ironic if he was killed by one of the inmates he released, yes?
That sounds foolish. Why would they kill a man who'd just done them a huge favor?


Because they were robbing a liquer store or whatever and he happened to be in the way? Things like that do happen, after all.
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Darth Fanboy
PostPosted: 2012-01-11 11:30pm 

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Joined: 2002-09-20 05:25am
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Location: Mars, where I am a totally bitchin' rockstar.
Mississippi's Attorney General is challenging some of the pardons and a judge has issued an injunction.

There is a lot I don't like about this whole thing, but what stood out interestingly enough in the article I just linked to is this tidbit.

Quote:
Of the 26 who were in custody, 13 were placed on “indefinite suspension due to medical reasons because their health care expenses while incarcerated were costing the state so much money.”


Pardoning for this reason now creates a system where, on the most slippery of slopes, we can have raging alcoholics rob liquor stores to get more liquor that get sent to prison but their cirrhosis is so bad from drinking so much that they will get pardoned for the very condition that threatened their life in the first place! Yes that is outlandish and far fetched, but isn't releasing a person from prison with a life threatening medical condition because it costs too much to treat them tantamount to the death penalty in some ways? This opens the door for governors looking to trim the budget for the prison system by just pardoning anyone that exceeds $X in taxpayer funded care.
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NoXion
PostPosted: 2012-01-12 02:37pm 

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Joined: 2005-04-21 01:38am
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Skgoa wrote:
So what do you think of parole and suspended sentences? Not trying to attack you, just curious.


For parole, my understanding is that there is such an entity called the "parole board" who make an assessment of a convict's suitability for parole. I don't see the problem with this as long as the professionals and processes involved are worthwhile in terms of delivering justice, that is, providing some reasonable measure of deterrence, rehabilitation and/or public safety.

As for suspended sentences, my understanding is that they are issued by courts of law, which as I have already intimated are not problematic in the most general sense, although goodness knows the law can be a total ass at times.
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