An email from Mississippi Press Association executive director Layne Bruce says that “a long list” of Gov. Haley Barbour’s last-minute pardons were not properly advertised in advance, as required by state law.
That’s the crux of the argument Attorney General Jim Hood made Wednesday before Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green in his attempt to gain an injunction to stop the release of some of those pardoned who were still in prison.
In the email. sent Wednesday night, Bruce told members of a MPA listserv that a search by MPA staff members to determine if each of the pardons met the 30-day notice requirement before the pardons were issued “turned up quite a long list of those that didn’t. In more than one case, the public notice for someone requesting a pardon won’t even start publishing until tomorrow (Thursday), two days after the former governor signed the pardon order.”
Green apparently had similar doubts about some of the pardons meeting the advertising requirement, because at Hood’s request she signed an order Wednesday evening halting the release of the still-incarcerated pardons.
What this means in the long run, it’s hard to tell. That the MPA, whose member newspapers in a lot of cases would serve as the advertising medium, has already determined many of Barbour’s pardons were not properly noticed certainly does not bode well for the validity of what the former governor did.
Complicating things is Butler Snow’s announcement Wednesday afternoon that Barbour had joined the firm.
Why would that be troublesome? Butler Snow serves as MPA’s general counsel.