JACKSON - The Mississippi Parole Board rejected 16 inmates' requests for freedom before they were given full pardons by Republican Haley Barbour during his final days as governor.
That's according to a nonpartisan legislative watchdog group, which examined Barbour's pardons at the request of Democratic Rep. Cecil Brown.
Barbour pardoned 198 people shortly before ending his second term Jan. 10. He also granted 13 medical releases, one suspension of sentence; one conditional, indefinite suspension of sentence; and one conditional clemency.
Brown says Thursday that the Legislative Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee found the 16 rejected by the Parole Board but pardoned by Barbour had been convicted of crimes ranging from methamphetamine possession to murder.
State law does not require a governor to follow Parole Board recommendations in granting pardons.