Lawmakers want changes to governor’s pardon powers

JACKSON — Some Mississippi lawmakers want to limit the governor’s pardon powers, a discussion prompted by Republican Haley Barbour’s actions as he left office last Tuesday.

Barbour granted pardons or other reprieves to more than 200 people, including many convicted of violent crimes. He says most had served their time, and pardons offer a chance for redemption.

The new governor, Republican Phil Bryant, says he has no intention to pardon anyone. He’s also changing a trusty program that allows a few inmates work at the Governor’s Mansion.

Barbour pardoned the 10 trusties who worked during eight years at the mansion. Eight were convicted of murder, one of manslaughter and one of robbery.

Democratic Rep. David Baria wants to ban governors from granting pardons during the final 90 days of a term.

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